Perler beads & 3Doodler refills using PP


I came across the idea of creating art using perler beads, and thought – we could use Precious Plastic for the same?

Perler beads are used for making plastic art that looks something like Cross stitch.

I am new to Precious Plastic and have not yet started on any projects, but if I am to make a mould it would be for Perler beads.

Also can’t we create refills for 3Doodler pens?


We can make refills for 3D printers as well…

As @Wyatt said, best would be to use the extruder for this, pearler bead are tubing that is cut in small pieces. You need to modify the extruder so you can use a “core” (the pin/rod centred in the nozzle).

I have not built any of the Precious Plastic machines yet, but I have done some experimentation with LDPE and HDPE bags. The big problem I had was that when the thin layers of plastic fused together in the oven, air bubbles got trapped between the layers. Even clamping the hot plastic in a form, did not get the air out. Maybe fusing several layers together with an iron, as malawi suggested, will work. But what I want to try, is feeding plastic bags directly into the Extruder machine, to see if the screw will force the air out of the bags.
How ever you get the bags workable, I do not think that you will want to use the Injector machine for this project. It will take much time for very few beads. I think that what you will want to do is use the Extruder machine. Instead of having a nozzle that has a small hole in it, for making a filament, you will want a hole slightly larger than the size of the outside diameter of your beads. LDPE and HDPE shrink some when cooled, that is why you want the hole a little larger than the size that you want your beads. Next, you will want a pin/rod that is the same diameter as the inside diameter of your beads. Center the pin/rod in your nozzle, and fasten it in place by welding a wire across the end of the pin/rod and then to the end of the nozzle that screws into the Extruder barrel. The idea is the hot plastic will flow around the wire, and fuse back together as it goes out the nozzle. The pin/rod in the middle of the nozzle will make for a hollow filament, otherwise known as a tube. You will want to cool your tube quickly, so that gravity does not deform it. Once you get all of the little problems worked out, and you are making a decent shaped tube consistently, cut the tube into your beads. You should be able to build a simple machine to cut the tube into beads quickly.
Another thing to keep in mind, the printing on the bags does not magically disappear when you melt the bags. It actually colors the plastic. That is another reason to use the Extruder machine, it will knead your plastic and mix your colors, so that you get a more uniform colored tube.

I think you can fold a few plastic bags into a flat piece, and then iron them with wax/teflon paper on both sides. You should then end up with a thicker sheet that can then be shredded.

Another idea is to compact them into tin-cans, heat up and then push the plastic together.

If you are thinking of making the precious plastic machines, I think the injection machine would do a good job of turning the bags into filament. Just place a bucket below so it keeps it’s shape as a string instead of becoming a large blob of plastic. It should then be easy to shred it and be left with usable material.

Thinking about it – I guess another alternative would be to have a rotating knife at the end of the injection machine, so it gets cut into small granules right away. 🙂

@annathomas oh sorry that’s a whatsapp video that a friend sent me.
you are doing an awesome job, keep continuing it and as always free feel to ask for help from the PP community including me 😃
Its always good to find a fellow Indian here

@sharma-sagar can you share the link to the video? I find that in our area the most amount of plastic waste that we find around are plastic carry bags. And that’s one thing that has bothered me so much to make me sit through articles on the net to find a solution for this, and that’s how I stumbled upon Precious Plastic…

@annathomas most plastic bags or “carry bags” as we call them in India are made from LDPE so no problem there, but the are two issues –

  1. they are dirty since people throw them with liquid food/ items in them so you’d have to clean thoroughly before using.
    2)they are too thin so I’ve heard thats a problem, but recently i saw a video were those plastic bags were first melting into some sort of gunk with the help of an extruder and that gunk was then fed into another extruder to make pellets out of it. once plastic has reached pellet form there won’t be difficulty to use it. I guess its a trial and error.

wow that great input!!

I’m new to PP – but me and my cousins are thinking of starting a family business with a side wing focused on recycling… This is one of the ideas I’ve put forward and hopefully it gets implemented soon… It’ll be some time though for an update on the same but I’ll definitely not lose this track

Thanks @sharma-sagar for the info… That should be helpful for me to get started on…

One thing i wanted to know – can we use plastic bags for recycling? By plastic bags i mean the grocery bags that we get… the very image that’s used in the precious plastic icon 🙂

@annathomas i read about them and found they are made from LDPE. Since sourcing ldpe from trash won’t be and issue and since endless design can me made from beads, i think it would definitely be a great product for PP line up. and Injection machine would be perfect for the task. We can make several beads at a time with the help of mold. nice idea keep it up and update your progress here

Perler beads are used for creating fusion bead crafts, that look a lot like cross stitch artwork. These beads are arranged along a pegboard in desired shape or design, and then a parchment paper is placed on top of it and ironed to fuse them together

@annathomas yes mould for the beads would be a great idea and i think injection molding machine would be the best option. What are the beads used for btw?

yes we can make refil for the pen, it’s basically 3d printer filament which can be made using extruder, although getting filament with accurate diameter within the tolerance range is a bit challenging.