Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

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Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby elmoret » 2012-Dec-Mon-10-Dec

So, like most people, I've been surprised at how much filament costs, compared to raw plastic. For example, 2kg of Makerbot plastic is $110 shipped, but 1kg of raw ABS is $15 shipped. As some of you probably know, this has been identified by others as a problem too. Desktop Factory has put out an offer of $40,000+ prizes for anyone that comes up with a machine that converts pellets to filament.
http://desktopfactory2012.istart.org
Clearly, I am not alone in my desire to use ABS pellets! So, I set out to build a machine to convert these pellets to filament. Here's what I came up with:

Image

I was concerned that the filament would not be consistent. I measured the first 4 feet at 6 inch intervals with a caliper. Here's what I found:

Code: Select all
1.8mm
1.76mm
1.8mm
1.78mm
1.76mm
1.79mm
1.77mm
1.79mm


Which works out to 1.78 +/- 0.02mm.

More details here:

http://www.soliforum.com/post/6154/#p6154
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Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby eddiema » 2012-Dec-Mon-18-Dec

elmoret wrote:So, like most people, I've been surprised at how much filament costs, compared to raw plastic. For example, 2kg of Makerbot plastic is $110 shipped

You are paying over twice as much as I do at reprapper.com
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby elmoret » 2012-Dec-Mon-19-Dec

Reprapper stuff is inconsistent in diameter, and sometimes has pieces of metal in it! Also, I use 1.75mm. Not sure which you mean.

Also, I'm located in the US. It is not that cheap when you're shipping to the other side of the planet :)
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Mooselake » 2012-Dec-Mon-19-Dec

elmoret wrote:Reprapper stuff is inconsistent in diameter, and sometimes has pieces of metal in it!

I've never seen either inconsistent diameter or metal pieces, and have printed a kg or so of 5 different colors. Perhaps this is true of other Chinese filament, but from personal experience not true of this brand. Others on cnczone and here have had similar results. I used 3mm, but plan to buy 1.75 from him when I get around finally assembling my qu-bd extruder. Do you have experience with these problems - I'd be very interested in hearing them.

elmoret wrote:Also, I'm located in the US. It is not that cheap when you're shipping to the other side of the planet :)

Shipping about doubles the price, depending on quantity, still making it a bargain. IIRC it took about a week to arrive in the upper midwest, not too much different that what it takes UPS from the west coast.

No other connection than being a customer, although I have exchanged some correspondence with the owner and helped correct a few language difficulties on his site. If I had the time and spare cash I'd seriously consider buying a container's worth and becoming a dealer.

Kirk
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Mooselake » 2012-Dec-Mon-19-Dec

To get back to the original topic, your extruder looks interesting and pretty simple. Is that 12V gear motor big enough It looks kinda small. What's your extrusion rate?

How do you handle the filament once it leaves the extruder? Have you tried any type of automatic winder, or do you just pull it by hand?

Filabot (who doesn't seem to have done a good job of delivering yet, btw) had discussed dimension control using grooved rollers followed by a die (basically a hole in a plate) to trim the filament after it's extruded. Dr. Pearce's Recyclebot (they're just a few miles from here) hadn't solved the problem when I saw it last spring; I don't think they've had a chance to make any progress on it since then.

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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby elmoret » 2012-Dec-Mon-22-Dec

Mooselake wrote:
elmoret wrote:Reprapper stuff is inconsistent in diameter, and sometimes has pieces of metal in it!

I've never seen either inconsistent diameter or metal pieces, and have printed a kg or so of 5 different colors. Perhaps this is true of other Chinese filament, but from personal experience not true of this brand. Others on cnczone and here have had similar results. I used 3mm, but plan to buy 1.75 from him when I get around finally assembling my qu-bd extruder. Do you have experience with these problems - I'd be very interested in hearing them.


"The RepRaper filament ranges from 1.63 to 1.73, but mostly varies around .05mm. You can feel some waviness running a couple of fingers along it. The RepRaper filament has bubbles visible in it, which are completely contained. "

"There are bubbles clearly visible in the filament, and black specs here and there. "

Image

http://solidoodletips.wordpress.com
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby elmoret » 2012-Dec-Mon-22-Dec

Mooselake wrote:To get back to the original topic, your extruder looks interesting and pretty simple. Is that 12V gear motor big enough It looks kinda small. What's your extrusion rate?

How do you handle the filament once it leaves the extruder? Have you tried any type of automatic winder, or do you just pull it by hand?

Filabot (who doesn't seem to have done a good job of delivering yet, btw) had discussed dimension control using grooved rollers followed by a die (basically a hole in a plate) to trim the filament after it's extruded. Dr. Pearce's Recyclebot (they're just a few miles from here) hadn't solved the problem when I saw it last spring; I don't think they've had a chance to make any progress on it since then.

Kirk



The gearmotor doesn't even get warm. It runs at about 50% of its rated current draw. Extrusion rate varies from 8-12"/min with 1.75mm filament.

I let the filament pile on the floor. It typically piles into a coil. If I tape the end to the floor, it piles into figure eights, which are easier to spool. I typically spool by hand. Since I can make it faster than I can use it, I typically only make a half pound or so at a time. I can spool that by hand in about 5 minutes.

Grooved rollers/a die seems excessive in my experience. I can maintain +/- 0.05mm without any of that. 90% of the time, it's +/-0.02, as shown above.

Filabot, in addition to taking 11 months in development and still shipping nothing, has a BoM of $350 for a single unit (non-bulk), and many parts are not included in their BoM. The single unit cost for this design is $175, and includes every part on the machine.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby plexus » 2012-Dec-Tue-12-Dec

Look good elmoret. of course getting good quality filament is easier said than done. do you have samples? have you printed with your filament yet?

I am also a reprapper.com filament customer. i have about 10 different reels from them and have printed from each, some as much as 1/2 the reel (0.5kg). so far no issues. its printing just fine.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby elmoret » 2012-Dec-Tue-18-Dec

I have printed with it:

Image

White is from my extruder, green is from Amazon.

I do have some filament I'm sending out for samples. So far, two people are getting some. Related: The beta is full. If anyone is interested in the future, I'm happy to add you to the waiting list.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby barretzhang » 2012-Dec-Wed-05-Dec

well.it seems great for the machine,maybe you can make the filament by yourself,but i think that machine is not available for the team,the material price is cheap just for the high demand.For the individual the cost is also out of the price in supplier.we could provide high quality pla,abs filament in china,the diameter tolerence is about +-0.05mm with no impurity.
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we mainly provide the ABS,pla filament for 3D printer,with multi-diameter(3mm,2mm,1.75mm),and wo could supplied the color by your request.


Email:ecobiomaterial@gmail.com
skype:barretzhang
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby denny » 2013-Mar-Sat-22-Mar

i am very interested in this extruder. The desktop machine competition had ended and Lyman extruder has won, but he won`t sell the kit just shares BOM download at thingiverse. As for filastruder almost ready for the kit, i am gonna support it ( i mean buy it). I thing the Filament extruder is crucial for 3d printer as it can be made to recycle the old plastic or just from pellet...
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby elmoret » 2013-Mar-Fri-23-Mar

Update: Filastruder on Kickstarter!

http://kck.st/YQkdnS
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby evanalmighty » 2014-Apr-Wed-19-Apr

Has anyone here picked up a Filastruder yet? I am really curious and thinking about getting one.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Chris Snyder » 2014-Apr-Wed-19-Apr

Hello!

I have, but, between a move and going back to school, the filastruder was damaged. I have order replacement parts and after the semester is over I should get it running.

When it did work, it extruded "3" mm filament ok (sadly, only about a pound). Recycled PLA did not do well. I never got the hang of the settings, but I have heard that 1.75mm extrudes better. Other than their forum, I haven't seen much talk about the product.

I guess the product that makes the stuff for product that makes The Stuff is just not as cool as the product that makes The Stuff.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby redwood » 2014-Apr-Wed-21-Apr

This kit is way overpriced for what you get. You can buy all of the parts yourself for a lot lower than cost that he is selling it for. The kit is very amateurishly put together. The wood pieces weren't cut straight, the holes on the nozzle were not on center. There is nothing in the kit that you can't source yourself with ease.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Chris Snyder » 2014-Apr-Fri-15-Apr

Well, if you're thinking about making one, look at this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:197184

But after your time and effort (never discount yourself), you are not going to be able to source a filastruder for cost or less than the real one(unless you have the tooling).
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby redwood » 2014-Apr-Sat-01-Apr

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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Chris Snyder » 2014-May-Tue-13-May

evanalmighty wrote:Has anyone here picked up a Filastruder yet? I am really curious and thinking about getting one.

I got it working.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby evanalmighty » 2014-May-Tue-14-May

So what's the verdict? Worth it?
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Chris Snyder » 2014-May-Tue-15-May

I think it is if your printing ads; 3mm pla does not work, 1.75mm pla might. You do have to baby sit and give it space, but 5$lb makes up for it.

You might want to get the case and you will need to the nozel with the filter.

Also, this is not kid or pet friendly.

Checkout their forum and scroll through the good, the bad, and the ugly. I wish their was more input other than "it sucks" from folks.

http://www.soliforum.com/forum/18/filastruder/

A filament extruder is worth it, weather it is this brand, another brand, or home made.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby redwood » 2014-May-Tue-15-May

http://store.extrusionbot.net

I'm looking into an extrusionbot to replace the filastruder. It has a case, winder and filament extruder in one.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Chris Snyder » 2014-May-Tue-16-May

Those look nice, I thought about getting one. The only issue with that struder is the wined/puller is way to close to the nozel. Wouldn't the filament distort as it came in contact with rolled filament or is the winder's distance adjustable?
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby redwood » 2014-May-Tue-16-May

Image

It must be acceptable or they wouldn't be doing it. What did you think about the fit and finish of the filastruder? My nozzle holes weren't even on center, what a hack. The filastruder kit looked like it was formed by someone with no previous wood or metal background who was walking around a home depot and going through the isles to see what might fit. The guy was using an orange black and decker drill/driver in his installation video :lol: He might have some wood or metal skills but it doesn't show in the product.

The wood lasercut case still smells burned after all of these months.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby evanalmighty » 2014-May-Tue-17-May

If I could just stop buying hot ends I'll have enough to buy the extrusionbot. I'm not a fan of the filastruder from the way it looks so far. I think they still have a way to go yet. There's another kickstarter campaign for another desktop sized extruder coming from Europe. I forget what it's called.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Chris Snyder » 2014-May-Tue-18-May

I'm just not quick to jump on the winder/puller being so close to the nozel with so little cooling. Redwood, it sounds like you got a real shitty kit (I would be pissed too). Did you contact filastruder?


Evan, if you have concerns wait till a 'struder comes out with a diameter incoder attached to a puller.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby redwood » 2014-May-Wed-01-May

Image
Image

I should have gotten a refund instead trying to work with what I got. I'm always this way :|

Whats with the black stuff on your cabinet, is that mold? :shock:
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Chris Snyder » 2014-May-Wed-09-May

redwood wrote:
Whats with the black stuff on your cabinet, is that mold? :shock:


Ha, nah, its carbon. Had a little kitchen fire from faulty elctical work. So I put up the old burnt cabinets in the garage. Their great because I can put screw through them with out any worry.

The nipple, they really should turn those on a lathe and the copper guide is crap, I switched mine with left over bowben tubing before i got the case.

Did you ever put your kit together and get some filament out of it? What version is it?

Oh, and, sweet ruler.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby redwood » 2014-May-Wed-10-May

I never did get it assembled completely. I saw there were a few things to mod/beef up before I complete so I placed it in a box and forgot about it. I'm still currently buying filament off of amazon because I don't want to deal with it yet :?

Too bad about your kitchen fire. I have a colleague that was displaced for over a month due to a small kitchen fire and ensuing smoke damage. The smoke damage was more damaging. A house fire always something I'm worried about. An electrical fire due to all these electronics/gadgets is a scenario I'm preparing myself for. I have fire blankets/extinguishers, 2nd story fire escape ladders, CO detectors, water leak sensors, etc. Home automation and networked sensors/monitors is what I'm incorporating now.

Oh and the ruler is from adafruit, I'm a sucker for tools :lol: The next one I want is a small caliper pen to carry in laptop bag.

Ruler - http://www.adafruit.com/products/1554
Pen Caliper - http://www.adafruit.com/products/810
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby plexus » 2014-May-Wed-10-May

The way I approached it was with a cost analysis. I worked out the cost per spool using a filament maker (including the capital cost of the filament maker) vs the cost of store bought filament. for me it was not cost effective in that it would take something like 8 years to break even. its just one way to look at it. of course being able to make one's own filament would be fun and cool. but for me, its simply a cost issue.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby redwood » 2014-May-Wed-10-May

Yeah, one would need to push out a lot of prints to see cost advantages. Filament prices on amazon are getting cheaper and cheaper. Don't know about the quality, but price is headed downward which is great.

http://www.amazon.com/Gbargain-Natural- ... B00HNHF2JW

Gbargain 1.75mm ABS Natural 3D Printer Filament 1kg/2.2lb Spool
Sale: $22.69 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
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Re: Filament Extruder - Convert pellets to filament

Postby Chris Snyder » 2014-May-Wed-11-May

It took cost into account and at first I was not going to get the 'struder. But then I had two new rolls of 1kg 3mm pla shatter half way through the roll. After losing about 30$ between the two rolls, I decide to give it a go due to loading money ether way.

As for the fire, that is just pain in the butt! Lost more to the renovation degassers than the fire! If they didn't steal/loose it, they broke it.

New motto: Fire extinguishers, fire extinguishers everywhere.
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