• Turn Your Old Plastic Bottles into 3-D Filament

    With any printer, the cost of ink is what puts people off long after the machine has been paid for. With ink jet and laser printers, you can’t turn your plastic recyclables -- the cartridges -- into new toner. With 3-D printers, you can.

    Tyler McNaney, a college student in Vermont, fell in love with 3-D printing about a year ago and has spent his spare time reconfiguring an old plastic extrusion technology to build his own line of recyclable 3-D filament extruder to turn plastic bottles into more projects. The Filabot grinds the pieces of plastic to a uniform size then feeds the plastic chips into the heating unit, which melts the plastic to the appropriate temperature. It’s extruded as filament through an interchangeable nozzle.

    The Filabot, as McNaney has named it, will turn water, juice and milk bottles into 3-D printing filament. Not only does the Filabot offer a cheap alternative to expensive 3-D filament - MakerBot sells its online for $48 per kilo (a little more than 2 pounds)

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  • Bluetooth Comes of Age

    To this day, the name Bluetooth brings back bad memories of the wireless cell phone earpiece that was more personal statement than practical tool. It seemed as if every small-time baller had to show he was successful enough to own one and in demand enough to keep it on him all the time, even when out to dinner with his girlfriend’s parents.

    But Bluetooth has come of age. It has become the muse of several start-ups and established companies that are finding new and creative ways to take advantage of Bluetooth’s drastic uptick in efficiency, from the Nike Fuelband to the Pebble Smartwatch, which we previously featured on “This Could Be Big.”

    This week we spoke with a start-up out of Southern California called Tethercell, whose founders, Trey Madhyastha and Kellan O'Connor, are former rocket scientists who designed mechanical and fluid systems for the Falcon 9 rocket.

    They were at CES this year, showcasing their new technology, which brings the tried-and-trusted AA battery into the 21st

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  • Become Your Own 3-D Producer

    CES is a technology behemoth, blanketing Las Vegas for one week a year with the newest televisions, tablets, headphones, indestructible smartphone cases and Bluetooth beer koozies.

    But at “This Could Be Big,” we’re looking for innovation that goes beyond upgrades and modifications, that changes the way we interact with technology.

    We found that this year in a young company from Hungary called Leonar3Do. Their 3-D graphic design program blew us away with its ease of use and ability to change education and the way we create art.

    The $500 Leonar3Do package comes with the software, special 3-D glasses and a four-sensor stylus, which they call “the bird.” When you first put on the glasses and pick up the bird, you need a second to get used to manipulating a 3-D digital image in space, but within a few moments it feels like you’re manipulating a piece of clay or drawing with a pencil.

    As consumers, we’ve been offered a steady diet of 3-D for years, with 3-D TVs available at every

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