Small plastic lab – Sheet press 20cm 30cm

I made a small portable plastic lab.

This construction has been designed be used on a sailing boat to recycle plastics out of the ocean. (excluding fishing tools!)  Of course you can use this everywhere!

As it is an experimental construction the person who will be using it on the boat will give me feedback in the future about the practicalities and user friendliness.

The 3d file contains a heavier metal construction than the one I made on the picture. This is due to reducing the weight of the press for on the boat.


Details and tips:

– Plastic sheets of 20cm by 30 cm. 

– If you have a bigger oven you will be able to make thicker sheets

– When you cut extra metal plates you can take these out of the press to clean and make errors

– or cut out an baking plate (2 times top/bottom) 20 by 30cm to have a smooth surface result.

– Order a 4 ton “potjack”
– Use PTFE spray, foil for high gloss results (It can create lines though!)
_– the press in the file would weight around 35 kilo

_– use a scale to calculate the amounts!

Tools you need: 

– Welding machine

– column drill

– Punch (to make the exact spot for the drill)

– Hammer

– Electric Metal saw

– Music boxes

– A beer or wine to celebrate your new design when you finish (not during the work though!)




It is important that the welds are very solid and straight, if not:

– the plates will not be pressed straight

– the press wil bend due to the power

– or the flat metal plate wil bend due to the heat


3d file included:

There is also a File included made in Rhinoceros.

Rought price estimation:

– Metal for the press – 80 – 120 euro

– second hand oven 50 euro



**Introduction video:


**My works:

The journey!



Have Fun!

Very nice. I suppose you used HDPE?

Thanks for the advice
i will adjust accordingly will keep you posted on progress

Hey that looks really cool! interesting concept since the plastic origin might be a bit more dirty for the final product? I would generally say that making a sheet press involves having a very big amount of pressure. Looking at the current side bars you are using they seem to be on the thin side 😉 If you want to heat a bigger surface of plastic it generally takes a long time to heat it equally, This could easily be between 1 or 2 hours! Maybe try a plastic like PP or LDPE to avoid brittle outcomes. On the otherside it would be (better for the concept) interesting to try PS since you will have a ceramic result that fits better with a toilet environment, aka cleaning, maybe less absorption of water or bacteria etc! having that said pp or ldpe would not be so great maybe haha. Good luck

Hey Thomas
we are intrigued by the sheet press and have followed some of the information posted to build our own. the size is roughly 600mm x 600mm x 7mm thick.
The difference is our sheet has a pattern and will be used as a squat toilet.
I have also shown images of the first outcome of the press, the plastic was brittle as a result of over heating but we hope to resolve those issues.

Hey well in this case the person who uses this equipement will receive a lot of small pieces of plastic out of the ocean. To have a shredder would be to big on this boat.  The “stamper” is just a metal box with metal tube having another piece of metal underneath. It works for cracking up plastics that have been already worked on by the weather 😉 Good luck let me know if you need more info!
Does the zipfile work??

I would like to better understand the first equipment to crush the plastic. could you put photos or give me tips? is a weight hitting the plastic?

Hey Anne,
On our current tryout with a PP sheet you see on the picture it took 20 minutes to heat the plastic (we used an extremly small oven, with a bigger one you could heat more equal and faster!) Afterwards it takes very little time to place it in the press. The cooling takes 10 min. When you take it out it will be warm and its good to cool it with water!

Hey Sonik.
For this project we are aiming at try outs for HDPE – LDPE – PP – PS.
But you can always try out multiple other plastics!

awesome, thanks for sharing ! how long is the process to make one plate ? just for reference 🙂