Siraj Shukri carves out success with innovative 3D printer recycling technology

CNC machinist was always in the shop, even on Saturdays


Between programming and operating three computer numerical control (CNC) mills, and helping to design key machinery components, Siraj Shukri pretty much does it all at work. But when you’re working for an up-and-coming startup launching their flagship product, sometimes you have to wear a couple of different hats.

Shukri, a former mechanical technician-CNC and precision machining student at George Brown College who graduated in April, has always had an interest in machinery.

“I just like mechanical stuff, always have, always will,” he said. Shukri became interested in the program because a lot of mechanical equipment he liked was related to CNC machines.Shukri currently works at ReDeTec, a startup company developing a desktop plastic recycling system to accompany 3D printers.

The device, which the company calls the Protocycler, features a grinder for chopping up 3D-printed waste, as well as a heated extruder that takes either pellets or recycled plastics and produces new plastic filament—the stuff 3D printers use to print with—in any size the user needs.

As Shukri explains it, schools and institutions are interested in the Protocycler because it lets them do more with less. Buying pellets and making your own filament can cost a fraction of what new filament costs, and recycling saves even more money.

After successfully crowd-funding the Protocycler, ReDeTec is working overtime to get their first batch of pre-orders out to customers by the end of November. According to Shukri, interest is still growing.

“New orders keep coming every day,” Shukri said. “Yesterday we got four orders, and for a product of this calibre that’s quite a bit.”

Working in such a demanding environment hasn’t dimmed Shukri’s enthusiasm for George Brown’s CNC and precision machining program.

“I couldn’t be happier with my choice of coming here,” he said. “I learned way more than I expected to learn, and that was also because I would hang out in the shops between classes.”

Even on Saturdays, Shukri said he was always in the shop.

Shukri’s passion for creating things doesn’t end when he punches the clock, either. Right now he’s working on challenge coins, special medallions given out to mark membership or an accomplishment. He has plans to give one of the medallions to a machine tester at ReDeTec.

“She’s extruding filament all day, every day, and when she gets to 23 miles, I want to give her a coin with a little marathon runner on the back.”

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Siraj Shukri carves out success with innovative 3D printer recycling technology