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Ouroboros filament Extruder

Joan Culleré joancullere

Ouroboros filament Extruder

08/07/2019 at 01:11

Hello, I’m Joan Culleré Mechanical Engineer and Inventor. I did a filament extruder that is pretty good, it’s halfway to be high tech and of course open source. All files will be soon on my page with the code to run it. Everyone will be able to use it if they want. Also, I did other machines: a shredder and pelletizer that converts filament into pellets. I want to explain a little bit about it more in detail, technically why they are different, and the future of my machines. Also, I would like to share my story so people can know me better and see my motivations. This first post is the story; tomorrow I will do a new one explaining why my extruder is interesting 😉

/ STORY/ ********************************************************************
In September 2016 I decided to do my final bachelor thesis about a filament extruder, I did it with my friend Alvaro. I had this idea because I was concerned about plastic waste in my stage in France, where I developed a resin printer with one of the best teacher I ever had, François.

The project started and the month passed by really fast we did a lot of calculus, read all about extruders, industrial and desktop. In that time I was working as an internship engineer in a factory that produced car parts using injection molding. I asked the experts of the factory to improve my design and I had really valuable data to do it. Finally, in January 2017, we presented the project and we had 10 out of 10 and we were awarded honors as the best project of the year. They offered to patent our machine and we were really happy about it. Also because of that, some company that produces 3D printers offered us to sell our machine. Here the project:  https://upcommons.upc.edu/handle/2117/104866NOTE: THIS PROJECT IS REALLY OUTDATED!! please don’t manufacture these parts wait for me to upload them in my page ;-)Later we had some meetings with the university but money never arrived and I still waiting, I’m really frustrated about it. With the company that offered us the sell our product, the negotiations got stuck because they were focussed with a new printer. Finally, we went to maker Faire Barcelona in June 2017 and we forgot to sell the project because we were working fulltime as engineers and we were frustrated. I continued developing the machine in my free time; I was aiming to solve all the issues it had. My design changed a lot since then. I was investing the money I was earning as an engineer, also I did a shredder to crush my own 3d printer waste and also a pelletizer to convert my filament into pellets to feed again the extruder. All were my designs but I saw precious plastics design to have an idea of how it should be. I did a lot of mistakes I tried a lot of things. And finally, I had all of them working. Next year in 2018 I went to Barcelona maker Faire, I showed my machine and people were impressed about it, speed, quality, the concept were my strong point. I got so happy from the feedback I did a video on youtube and the idea, I had only one thing in my mind: sharing it to the world. Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIbvV8yENwA

I have been invited to different maker faires in Spain, I went to the cozy Bilbao maker and the international Compostela maker. There I could meet really interesting people and I received a lot of feedback to continue improving my design. I had a really good feedback in this faires and I felt really strongly that I wanted to share this and live from plastic recycling, I wanted to make it real. At the beginning of 2019, after talking with my boss, who I appreciate a lot, I left my job as an engineer. It was personally a really difficult decision and I still think was mad. Then I took my design that it was working fine, but it was not perfect. And I did it all from scratch. I solved all the problems that the old machine “extruder” had and added new features. At this point, I only focussed in the extruder machine. My intention was only to sell kits. I have been some month improving it and going to learn how to do my own company. I went to maker fair Prague this June and it was complete fail because I had problems with the transport despite this technical issue there I met really interesting and nice people, and I have a large contact list. This summer I agreed with Greenfablab to do my new version with them, they were really motivated, and we will assembly next week. My machine is modular; they wanted the version that more simple, but I have a more complex one. Also, I have a new webpage where I will post all the documentation. My intention is to bring the machine to more places, share and let people know my design.

I will post again explaining each machine and the technical stuff…

Thanks a lot for reading this!!! Subscribe to my YouTube to see more 😉 and send me a message to my email. I add you in my contact list! I send you a message when I have uploaded my files on my webpage.

If you want to talk to me all will be really happy



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08/07/2019 at 11:02

interesting; thanks for sharing. Can I ask what materials can be recycled with this machines ? thanks again

08/07/2019 at 17:28

Hi! and thanks for your interest!
I only tested Pla in my extruder, I didn’t try other materials yet. I was focussed to make it work properly with tolerances, I will test other materials and see the differences between them, I have a controlled temperature cooling tunnel. Maybe the distances where the filament diameter sensor and the puller should change too, I can also tweak the winding tension using a force resistor. I hope soon I will find time to do it.
Shredder had troubles to shred 3d printed pieces with a decent infill. I shredded bottle caps, and almost empty pieces or small ones. I use a little motor of 150W with a gearbox and I had an output of 3-4 rpm. Also, my blades are the smaller 50mm radius, I had a lot of troubles with this one and I changed the direction of my research. I don’t aim productivity of course. I’m working in a new system using heat because I don’t want to create a big shredder of 3kw. I don’t want to do it semi-industial. I would like to be able to do something small.
Pelletizer can crush any sort of filament it enters to the hole of 4.5mm.
I hope soon I will have documented everything.

08/07/2019 at 17:40

Great, thank you. We started compiling a special section on filament meets PP. I don’t know the specifics of PP v4 or PP v5 but we think it’s best to workout a library about reproducible machines & components; independently of the owners of PP have on mind… However, more or less this is the format. You can document it there on this page if you like; it’s the PP vault so your data and work is safe 🙂 PM me for details. Otherwise; we can host a complete a new page for your project, eg: precious-plastic.org/filament-spain ;
besos de cataluña

08/07/2019 at 18:33


08/07/2019 at 18:52

@joancullere , Thank you for posting.

As you try different plastics in your filament extruder and then your printer, even partial success is a success. If you have to increase the nozzle size and get prints with coarser surface detail, for a lot of applications that is OK.

I also like that you are trying adding heat to the shredding process (warm hopper?) With the plastic’s fall off in strength with temperature that is well worth looking at. I just bought a micro-cut office shredder that has a 500w motor. It does OK on single ply plastics at about 1 mm. At some point I plan to try preheating the plastic.

Good luck in your efforts

08/07/2019 at 19:28

@pex12, It is an interesting point. I will post something here, I see as an interesting network. I will still post all the files and documentation on my webpage! I have the intention to be donation-based like Arduino or similar.
@sharma-sagar, thanks! and subscribe if you want of course!
@s2019, It is not a warm hopper I had this solution in mind some time ago, I thought that plastic will stick in the blades, it would be difficult to find the perfect temperature. I thought something different, it is not a shredder. I would like to register this device as creative commons. In your case, The device would work for your machine too. But I need to build it and test it.

09/09/2019 at 16:53

@joancullere, thanks for posting.

can you share your page where you have posted the updated design of your filament extruder Ouroboros V3.0. I am building a similar machine to make PET filament and it would be helpful to compare with other designs


13/09/2019 at 21:36

@pipoa, I still work on that!
I have a newer version of the machine, I will do a video really soon!
Also, I’m preparing all the documentation to post it in my future webpage!

I will post:
A 3D model with printed parts
The one-line diagram to understand how it works.
Electric diagram, and connections.
The program that runs the machine.
Assembly guide. I don’t plan to do a video of the assembly. Unless I have
Maybe and if I contact successfully some producer in Europe I will sell the kit.

I’m alone so far doing this so it takes a while to do little steps forward.

I keep updating this forum with the news of the project


13/09/2019 at 23:02

Thanks @joancullere for the reply

looking forward for you to share all the info, please let us updated when the new design info is uploaded


13/09/2019 at 23:57

An updated teaser photo in the meantime?

14/09/2019 at 18:19

Thanks for your interest!
A little teaser of my machine.
Currently working on the video!

14/09/2019 at 18:34

Thank you..Looks great…I also like how you maintained the orange and green theme on your air compressor.

Looking forward to your description posts.
Thanks again

20/11/2019 at 20:56

If you want to see the video that I recorded this summer it is uploaded today!

21/11/2019 at 01:12

Thank you for the video.

26/11/2019 at 08:06

When will the plans be available. For my STEM 2 engineering project I am building the shredder, injection, and an extruder machine that will create new 3D filament. I would love to build your design but I would need to start it very soon in order to finish. Do you think I should do something like this instead so that I will be able to finish on time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j85TPjYRezI?

26/11/2019 at 15:55

Thanks for your interest in building my machine. I have exams this January so I-m focussing on that now.
Regarding your project I think it is a lot of time, work and money to build all the setup with the shredder, injection, extruder… I was in the same situation and I ended focussing on one of them. I think precious plastic extruder is a good extruder, as I know from the video, for filament extrusion I see they need a filter, and a breaking plate for the plastic {maybe they have my data is really outdated} I Believe it is necessary because you want laminar flow in the nozzle. Depends on what you want to do, what are your expectations, speed, accuracy… If it the first prototype I would go from something simple to something more complex. Check some books about extrusion.
Good luck with your project.

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