Low Cost Filament Extruder

Here’s a great low cost filament extruder solution. It uses basic parts available from any hardware store, and a few 3D printed ones — estimated cost is well under $100.

It’s very similar to the Lyman Filament Extruder, but can be built for even less money. By using 200C set-point heaters, his setup requires absolutely no electronics — although a cheap PID controller from China could give him more extrusion capabilities with temperature control… Regardless, the system appears to make good filament and he uses it exclusively for his personal filament consumption in his Delta printer. He’s even hacked up the ABS casing of a refrigerator, ground it down, and turned it into filament using this machine! If you’re hungry for more details, the full build log and discussion can be found on the RepRap forums.

He also has a guide on making your own ABS color masterbatch to make your own filament colors!

[Thanks Liam!]

27 thoughts on “Low Cost Filament Extruder

  1. So is anyone going to close the loop and make a 3D printer that runs on pellets with no intermediate filament stage?

    Or even better, one that you feed junk plastic into directly?

    1. I won’t go as far to say it is impossible, however the biggest problem I see with this is consistency. Even with slight variations in filament diameter and air bubbles, your print quality will be effected. Substitute the relatively controlled filament with moving pellets or random plastic and I don’t see that working well without an unnecessarily complicated and expensive extruder setup. Filament is easy to store and work with. It does add a step as well as increase cost, however I would take that any day over having an unreliable or inconsistent printer.

  2. On a youtube there is video of well working granular extruders:

    However video with regularly working automatic platform in it too for the present is – blip(dot)tv(slash)makerbot(slash)makerbot-innovation-makerbot-automated-build-platform-4134498, and here the platform and the trace caught a cold :) I think a problem here not in technical difficulties, as usual. For example why not to use for thread production the same extruder, as for the printing, only with larger nozzle (1.5mm for example)? Air bubbles, non regular size of extruded filament? Ok, it should be modified so that it could accept the plastic processed in fine enough powder (it easy to make for example by means of an small electric meat grinder) and pass it to hotend by means of the worm screw. Then to pass the leaving thread which hasn’t stiffened yet completely through rollers which will give it the exact sizes. And then this filament will be cooled with the fan and to arrive at once in the second usual extruder.

    Simply situation when both large and small producers of the equipment for the 3D-print prefer to overprice rather cheap plastic and to earn on it, instead of on further development of printers to any development of equipment won’t lead. It is stagnation. And here if the prices of materials for the press return from speculative levels to the real values which on orders it is less, and the structure of the equipment will include cheap tools for recycling of a material, it will give larger acceleration to development of 3D-printers. To producers will be compelled to get profit at the expense of strengthening of sales of the equipment instead of beautifully packed raw materials which from their inaction instead of a renewable recirculated material becomes a source of additional wasting only because consumers have no simple enough simple agents of processing of this material.

    Besides long ago it is time to printers to become and completely automated and modular that users could update easily them in parts, replacing in them old modules on newer or to unite in automatic clusters (it can look the same as organizers for different details, only instead of boxes there will be printers which will be able to print for example different materials).

    Well, generally, it isn’t surprising that it doesn’t occur yet and business goes as slowly, as well as with modular phones even if Makerbot throws out such focuses which differently as sabotage and you won’t call. But this quite obvious direction of further development of equipment for the 3D-printing and cheap household appliances for the 3D-print after all contacts sooner or later him.

  3. Were still getting RIPPED OFF!!

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