When you have a pile of old VHS tapes in your attic or basement that you know you will never watch again, either because all of those movies are available on DVD or streaming service, or because you haven’t been working on VCRs In 2003 there might be a way to use it in other ways. With the miles of tapes available in just a few cassettes, [Brother] aka [Andrew] shows us how to use this tape as filament for a 3D printer. (Video, embedded below.)
The first step in the build is to actually create the filament. He uses a specially made homemade press to spin multiple ribbons into filament, much like the way cotton or flax are spun into yarn. From there, the filament is simply fed into the 3D printer and put into operation. The ribbon filament needs to be heated higher than a standard 3D printer filament to make it print much slower. However, the resulting product is indistinguishable from a normal print, with the exception of color. It has some other interesting properties as well, like keeping its magnetism off the magnetic tape and being a little brittle than PET plastic, although it appears to be a little stronger.
While VHS filament may not work for all plastic 3D prints, it is still great for something that would otherwise likely end up straight to the landfill. There are several other uses for this magnetic tape as well, such as when you want to build a DIY particle accelerator.