Filament maker Beta
One of the promising things you can do with the extrusion machine is making 3d printer filament. This technology is emerging rapidly and will soon hit developing countries as well. It fits very well to the Precious Plastic vision of setting up a small local production.
But there is still a lot to figure out in this area. Printers are improving, they get more flexible on what thickness goes in and other types of plastic are being used more and more. As a start we want to deliver a solid line of plastic with an fixed diameter.
There are already some machines out there for this purpose, but we are aiming to make it suited for productions, not only individuals. Together with vanalleswatontwerp we developed a filament maker. An add-on for the extrusion machine to produce your own filament from plastic waste. Its still in beta because we want to do more tests/work with more types of plastic/make it more efficient and improve the documentation. However it works good and you can already start making filament. We have fully tested ABS, PLA, PP, HDPE
I have been working for several months on a similar project.
At the end, I decided to go for an extruder with only 1 heating band (similar to Lymans extruder). After several tests trying to make PLA filament, it seems like the only way to get an accurate filament width is to have an automatic winding mechanism, which lead me to purchase a filawinder (that I just received last week).
Initially, I wanted to build my own filawinder-like machine but it turns out that building my own was much more expensive than just buying the one commercially available.
I’m currently just waiting for a missing part to be delivered to finally start testing again.
@chelbig at the end, the ROI of making your own filament extruder + shredder + filament is not that good considering how cheap 3D printer filament has become, but is still fun to make your own filament 🙂
One of the most common/used 3D printer filaments is PLA and this type of plastic is not that common, so you have to buy virgin resin. ABS is another plastic type you can use, but normally, ABS products have a paint coating that ruins your filament, so you have to spend extra time + money + effort on cleaning and preparing the plastic before it can be used. Another common plastic that can be used for printing is PET, but you can find 1kg PET spools for about $15
Hi Dave, the page
is down 🙁Toggle replies
The thing is filamnet can be cheap in modern countries, but in remote places in poor countries, it can be a headache and cost a fortune in transportation, not even talking about the necessary time for delivery and customs issues.
How good does the machine behave with PP ?
The reason I am asking is because most bottle caps are made of PP right ?Toggle replies
PP is not very common for 3D printing, but it works. The only downsides of PP is that you need to heat the printer nozzle to almost 200 celcius degrees which is quite a lot compared to other filament types (this is one of the reason many people doesn’t like ABS either, since you need to heat the nozzle to 230 degrees). Also, printing quality is not as good as the one you can achieve with other filaments like nylon or PLA. More info here: https://www.3dhubs.com/talk/thread/can-pp-be-next-big-thing-3d-printing
If you use Precious Plastic design, I suggest to use 2 heating elements. If you go for another alternative like Lymans extruder, a 30cm~ niple and 1 heating element is more than enough. You might want to check this out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-3d-printing-filament-factory-Filame/
I guess the main reason for having multiple heating elements is to increase the possible extruding speed?
Or maybe reducing the required motor torque?
Other than that I don’t find any reason why you should have more than one.
If one heater can be enough this could reduce the overall build cost and size of the extrusion machine.Toggle replies
how do i connect all the electronics for the add-on on the extruder, the one that is used to make filament ( ramps, ardruino etc)
Also can i skip the fans & the cooling unit and used a household table fan to lower the cost?
Anyone with electronics background please help😭
RAMPS is an arduino-based package of electronics designed specifically for 3D printers such as the RepRap, and Arduino is a micro computer with a PIC microcontroller that can be programmed to do any desired tasks. None of them are needed for the extruder. And no, appropriate cooling is a must have for any 3D printer filament extruding project, sometimes even a water bath is needed to quickly cool off the filament and ensure an appropriate diameter.
Hello everybody 😀 at the moment I am trying to build the filament maker, I want to use the arduino code included in the files provided by Dave for the catterpilar puller, but I can’t get it to work because of compiling error 🙁 I have very little knowledge in programming so I don’t know what went wrong, did anybody have the same problem?
edit: there is one folder in libraries called “ClickEncoder” but the files inside are “Encoder.h” and “Encoder.cpp”. I tried to rename them to “ClickEncoder.h” and “ClickEncoder.cpp” but still getting error. I tried to change the string “ClickEncoder” in the arduino code to “Encoder” but get errors too.
edit 2: nevermind i solve the problem, seems the Encoder library included in the zip file was the different one than ClickEncoder, download the correct one and voila 😉Toggle replies
we are also now finishing the extruder and our aim is to use it as filament maker. Based on other videos, tutorials, many people have used 2 variations compared to Dave’s one.
1. Only 1 heating element + insulation
2. When cooling, a small water bath.
We are planning to go with Dave’s proposal (already got some mica band heaters – ouch…) and the controllers, but will try to use the bath method to cool the filament.
Regarding the caterpillar and arduino approach, it would be nice to have a cheaper even more manual approach but still havent decided. Any proposals are welcome…
As soon as we are there will let you know.
I love the project and the participation of all of you! Do you recommend me XXXoliverXXX build or buy machine? I do not have tools to create so easy. What machine would you suggest? I see that you take much more evaluating the returns so that in truth I would value your opinion.Toggle replies
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