DIY Filament: The Filabot Wee

filabotwee

Now there’s yet another option for making your own 3D printer filament: the Filabot Wee. It looks like their once open source model that they pulled from Thinigiverse earlier this year has received a significant makeover, though we aren’t sure what parts may have changed. (EDIT: Filabot says the Wee is still open source, and that once they’ve updated the files they will be available again.)

As you would expect, the Wee has a PID temperature controller and is capable of extruding both ABS and PLA pellets into either 1.75mm or 3mm-diameter filament. Speed varies depending on materials and thickness, but can reach 5 to 20 inches per minute of filament extrusion. Though the Filabot gang is selling the extruder as a kit, you can probably save a few bucks if you have access to a laser cutter and some other basic materials.

You should expect to spend more for Filabot parts ($649) than you would for the original Lyman extruder, though perhaps a more fair comparison would be the new third version of the Lyman extruder, whose bill of materials approaches $900. Considering Lyman’s recent comments that indicate an extrusion rate of 40-50 inches per minute, the extra bucks may be worth it. You can check out a demonstration video of the Filabot Wee after the break.

Comments

  1. Jay says:

    Life is too short… couldn’t get past the “set the temperature” portion. :D Just kidding.
    The more at-home filament makers, the better.

  2. Jeff says:

    How exactly is this comparable to Lyman’s (direct pull, water-cooled) extruder?

    Perhaps a more fitting comparison is the Filastruder, which at $259 is less than half the cost of the Wee.

    • ianmcmill says:

      The Wee is rediculous expensive. It has the same electronics as the Filastruder except for the welded metal hopper and the aluminium block with a hole in it for a pin heater. This heater is the same price as the heater used in Filastruder. 5-7€ on ebay.

      Overall it is not faster nor better then the Filastruder. It was just “available” before the Filastruder lunched. Filastruder mechanical parts are much easier to get (Aluminium heater block) and it does the same.

      And come on, for 650 $ you get 2 TwoUp QU-BD 3D printers or a Prusa i3.
      The complete BOM is about 100$ +/-15$.

  3. ejonesss says:

    why did they pull it?

    what was wrong with it

  4. dtf says:

    It’s like a meat girder or pasta maker, but for plastic! That’s ace :-)

    What’s it sound like? Silly music instead of actual machine sounds. :-(

  5. dx says:

    Why not to put this filament directly to printer and print from pellets?

    • dx says:

      Or from the defected parts processed in a grinder

    • dx says:

      At me already accumulated two 5kg boxes with not so successful printed details from experimental RC planes and robots which I don’t throw out because they probably still will be able to be useful somehow. But it would be much more reasonable to let them in “melting” and to keep only in the form of CAD models. And much cheaper leaves, and that the price of the plastic used for all the time while I use the printer already more, than the cost of the printer.

    • dx says:

      Probably it is possible somehow to try to place this or similar extruder in a form factor of the standard coil with plastic. That it was compatible to any model of being made models of printers and that in them it was possible to use and ordinary coils (for example with thermoplastic composites), and grinder for plastic would be the “external” device instead of an extruder. It would be convenient.

  6. Ano says:

    Why not just 3D-Print the Filament?… Wait, what?… Ah….

    • dx says:

      Yes, it is completely possible to use for extruding of the filament the same hotend, which is used for for printing. Especially for 1.75 mm filament. But you need to rework a bit extruder mechanism to make it be able to process pellets granules or plastic powders, like here – reprap(dot)org(slash)wiki(slash)GranuleExtruder. Yes, for direct printing this filament is not very good, probably, because of air bubbles and so on. But if you will use it as source for printing, and process pellets in grinder to thin enough powder, their quality should be better and completely acceptible for printing.

  7. dx says:

    If someone intrested in creating this kind of extruder (small plastic powder extruder in form-factor of standard 0,75kg filament coil), please vote here – quirky(dot)com(slash)invent(slash)764285. I understand that this is a shame for true hacker, but I’m just hobbiyst, and my skills is not enough to complete this project, but I’m completely sure, that two-step schema utilizes two standard 3D-printer extruders (first with worm-gear, vibro-motors and plastic powder as a source, and second – standard printing extruder) should work. May be I’m wrong. These are a lot of qualified engeneers and experts on quirky, who can determine this, it will be interesting to hear what they think about this.

  8. The Filabot Wee is still an open hardware system. We updated the files to what you see now.

  9. Parda Cyan says:

    so what happened to the shredding part?? why is everybody making extruders now without shredders. The whole idea was to NOT use pellets!

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