This Would Have Been Nice To Know When Blockbuster Went Bust
Hackaday posted a link to a great way to save a bit of money on your next print job, as well as a way to recycle any old VHS tapes you haven’t gotten rid of yet. It is possible to use the tape inside the cassette as the filament in your next 3D build with a little work before hand. The resulting objects will also have some interesting properties you don’t normally get from filament.
The trick is to spin several tapes together beforehand, as you would when making yarn out of wool, so that you end up with something similar in dimensions to store bought filament. From there you would need to increase the temperature of your print head, as VHS tape filament has a higher melting point than PET and other common filaments, and slowly start printing.
The colour isn’t quite the same, but the resulting print will be as strong or stronger than a traditional print, albeit a little more brittle when bent past it’s threshold. Interestingly the melting and hardening process doesn’t completely destroy the magnetic properties of the tape, which could lead to some interesting projects.
It has some other interesting properties as well, such as retaining its magnetism from the magnetic tape, and being a little more brittle than PET plastic although it seems to be a little stronger.