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ECE ILLINOIS senior's startup recycles 3D printing plastic waste



Filify 3D CEO and co-founder Trisha Gupta
(Photo creds: Robin Scholz, The Illinois News-Gazette)
Filify 3D CEO and co-founder Trisha Gupta (Photo creds: Robin Scholz, The Illinois News-Gazette)
ECE ILLINOIS senior Trisha Gupta Trisha Gupta was recently featured in an interview with The News-Gazette about her startup Filify 3D which recycles plastic waste from 3D printing into filament for printers. 

Filify 3D aims to make innovation sustainable by transforming waste from printing facilities on campus to 3D printing filament that can be used by the same facilities. The startup collects failed 3D prints, remnants, and plastic waste from 3D printing from campus facilities and converts it into 3D-printer filament. Since most of the waste is unmarked, the plastic would otherwise end up in landfills.

"In just over seven months during most of the fall and spring semester, we were able to divert around 700 pounds of waste from three printing facilities on campus," said Gupta in her interview. "There is definitely more waste we can be collecting from other printing facilities, research laboratories, companies in the Research Park and hobbyists in the community."

One of the biggest challenges Filify 3D faces is standardizing and cleaning the collection of waste. Plastic containers are composed of many different types and grades of plastic, these types of plastics cannot be mixed to create good recycled filament. 

"The biggest mistake I have made is not being confident enough in myself to try new things. It is easy to feel insufficient when you are in a room full of brilliant minds and you feel like you don’t fit the mold for something. Nobody is going to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself," said Gupta in her interview. 

"I quickly learned that the only way to be confident is to work hard to continuously learn skills and develop myself holistically. My biggest growths have been from successes and failures in things I have done furthest away from my comfort zone."

Check out more from the interview with The News-Gazette here.