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Students win $100K for 3-D printer to turn waste plastic into composting toilets, rainwater systems
Date:10/25/2012

bers.

"It's accelerating every day," said operations director Bethany Weeks, an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering who traveled to London for the competition. Club members will be invited to help test concepts for the new nonprofit, she said, while continuing to learn and experiment with 3-D printing.

The group's faculty advisers are mechanical engineering professor Mark Ganter and associate professor Duane Storti.

"They're amazing students," said Ganter, who watched the winning pitch live with his UW class. "They have a passion, and the judges saw their passion."

Judges also were impressed by research the students conducted to prove their concept. In July the students printed a boat from more than 250 milk jugs and then entered it in a Seattle race. That proved they could create objects from recycled plastic and was a test run for their custom-built giant printer, also built from salvaged parts.

"With small-scale printers, the extruders can clog easily," said Brandon Bowman, who also attended the competition. The huge printer that the students built, named "Big Red," can not only create larger objects, but it also allows them to print with materials that are not perfectly clean.

The team members will use the prize money to form a nonprofit that will work with Water for Humans in Oaxaca to test their idea. They are looking for more collaborators in the U.S. and overseas.

"I feel lucky to have the chance to start making our ideas into reality," Rogge said. "There is great potential here to improve people's quality of life while taking plastic out of the waste stream."


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Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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Students win $100K for 3-D printer to turn waste plastic into composting toilets, rainwater systems
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