Is it possible to re-use ABS or PLA filament material from printed parts?

If so, what is the techniques to reform it?


2 Answers 2


There are a few options.

  1. Machines are available which grind the used plastic into fine pieces, melt it down, and extrude it as filament to be reused. Filabot is perhaps the most well known.
  2. Depending on where you live the local recycling programs may accept PLA or ABS. They will then shred it and melt it down for reuse.
  3. PLA is bio-degradable so you can put it in the compost.
  4. I put scrap ABS in acetone which results in a slurry which can be used as a glue to attach ABS parts, fix cracks, and hold parts to the bed.
  • 13
    $\begingroup$ A DIY alternative to the Filabot is Hugh Lyman's Filament Extruder(s), the latest is v6, thingiverse.com/thing:1199870 $\endgroup$ Jan 12, 2016 at 22:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ AFAIK PLA is biodegradable only in industrial composting facilities, not in your backyard compost heap. This is because it requires specific conditions to break down effectively. $\endgroup$
    – user31389
    Jan 10, 2022 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ I am sorry to say but this filabot thing has a totally unacceptable pricing. I am surprised if anyone would pay this. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Sep 7, 2022 at 11:32

If you're more interested in the recycling and reuse aspect than the re-print aspect, you could melt all the scrap filament onto a cookie sheet or into a bar (like in a bread ban). You could then manually work the material, or use a CNC machine to carve out your next thing.

This Youtube video refers to HDPE, but the same concept will apply to other thermoplastics:

This Youtube video uses a cookie sheet and failed prints:


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