Musician Will.i.am goes all maker with Ekocycle Cube 3D printer



3D Systems (3DS) has announced the Ekocycle Cube 3D printer, a device that partly uses recycled plastic bottles to make its goods, and is being produced in partnership with Will.i.am and Coca Cola (who launched the Ekocycle brand).

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The idea is to promote sustainability and ecological principles alongside 3D printing, and a quarter of each filament (the 3D printer equivalent of a cartridge) is made up from used and recycled 20oz PET plastic bottles. In other words, folks are (partly) using old recycled plastic to make new stuff – which is certainly a laudable idea. Cartridges will apparently be available in red, black, white and "natural" colours, and the device will print in 70-micron high resolution, producing objects up to 6in cubed in size.

3DS claims the printer is fast, and comes with a colour touchscreen and a range of easy to use automatic settings, with an auto-levelling feature to ensure that the end product is high quality.

Will.i.am, who is Chief Creative Officer at 3DS, said that Ekocycle's goal is to "partner with the most influential brands around the world and use technology, art, style and inspiration to change an entire culture. We will make it cool to recycle, and we will make it cool to make products using recycled materials. This is the beginning of a more sustainable 3D-printed lifestyle. Waste is only waste if we waste it."

An app will also be available for both iOS and Android, to allow owners to browse collections for things to print, and print them directly from their phone.

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The Ekocycle Cube 3D printer is expected to ship in the second half of 2014, and will retail at $1,199 (£705).

Will.i.am is keen on launching new tech products these days; back in April, he was showing off his smartwatch.




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