Too long, didn't read:

Make your own 3D printer filament !
Cheap and high quality at a decent speed of 150-190 IPM ! (4-5 meters per minute)

UPDATE: Now with wiring diagram !

Long read:

3D printers are cool and they finally start to drop in price. Kickstarter campaigns like the one from QB-UP or M3D are popping up and they are finally "affordable". And with affordable I mean affordable like 200 $ and not "affordable" like 2.199$ affordable. However, once you are a proud owner of a 3D printer you will soon realize that your wallet is far from being let alone. No ! You need plastic filament of course to print those super awesome coat hooks and wheel chocks. Since the price for these filaments tend to top the actual material costs, printing before mentioned life savers is kind of expensive and could become a problem to the development of the ever growing 3D printer community

BUT FEAR NO MORE !! Some clever gents came along - Hugh Lyman with his Lyman Extruder may be mentioned here or the guys over at Filastruder.com - and saved the day ! YAY. And there was much rejoicing ! They have built plastic extruders everyone can build or buy at a decent price. However if you are a fellow Instructable.com user the first thing that should come to your mind is "I can build this by myself...and cheaper...". Building at lower costs is the nature of DIY after all.

And much more fun than putting together a premade kit, of course.

Special greetings go out to Xabbax and his plain simple but super awesome Low Cost Filament Extruder !

So how much money do I save when making my own filament ?

Good question ! A lot !

Depending on the pellets you get you can make your filament starting at 1$/kg.

How long does it take to produce 1 kg of filament you may ask ??

Using the build I describe here...roughly 1 hour. (for 1,75mm filament using ABS/PC pellets).

So, let's say on a Saturday in your next workshop session you start at 10 AM and batten down the hatches at 5 PM you could make 4-5 kg of filament, saving between 125-150 $ leaving you with lots of filament for hundreds of thousands of eggcups and phone cases and other useless needful things.

Oh yeah what about the build cost ?

Depending on shipping and local prices, I would guess around 130-150$.

Next step: List of Materials

Step 1: Material list

Except for the electronics everything listed here can be bought at your local hardware store.


  • 1x Wiper Motor (Ebay EU - 15€) / 5€ from the junkyard
  • 1x Auger bit(diameter = 16mm ; length = 460mm)
  • 1x PID Temperatur Controller - DC 12V version (Ebay)
  • 1x SSR-25DA Solid State Relay 3-32V DC / 24-380V AC / 25A (Ebay)
  • 1x K-type thermocouple (Ebay - like this one; does not need to be that shop :) just an example)
    -->!!! Sometimes the PID is bundled with an SSR and an K-Type Thermocouple !!!<--

  • 1x Motor Controller 20A (Ebay)
  • 1x Power Supply 12V, 240W+ (Ebay)
  • 1x Heating band (200 Watt 25mmx30mm) (Ebay)
  • 2x Fans (80mm) 12V
  • 1x Fitting 3/4" US Inch UNC --- 1/2" German Inch - 18cm long
  • 1x Water tap extension - 3/4" UNC threads --- 1/2" German Inch - 50mm long, 27mm diameter (one core thread and one exterior thread)
  • 1x End cap 1/2"
  • 1x Faucet-mounted filter - 1/2" diameter
  • 3x Steel angle
  • 1x Axial ball thrust bearing (Ebay) - Fitting exactly onto the auger bit's shaft.
  • 2x 10mm threaded rod
  • 1x Insulation
  • PTFE tape
  • Heat resistant tape
  • 3x Rocker (previously "rocket") switches
  • 1x Wooden board 100cm x 10cm x 2cm
  • Several screws and nuts
  • 2x sockets (1 that fits on the auger bit and 1 that fits on the nuts of the motor shaft)
  • Wires (two colors)


  • Multitool (Dremel-like)
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Drill
<p>I'm making this type extruder...Thanks for the idea....But I have a big problem : auger is jamming amd motor stop rotating the auger because plastic pallets are stuck between auger and barrel feeding slot corner (As shown in image) ... How to solve this issue Please...???</p>
The smaller the slot is, the lesser is the surface/edge where pellets can jam.<br><br>
The feeding slot is very big. The bigger it is, the more likely pellets are going to jam. Try making a feeding slot smaller so that it is &quot;above&quot; the pivot point of the curvature of the the pipe. <br><br>This would be my suggestion.
I saw a comment that some have problem that the auger goes forward.I didn't finished extruder yet, but I think this will work. I put axial bearing also in the back,with some space cca. 7mm just in case.And I have use some small round clamp, for fixing.
Hi. I have bought the sestos pid controler, but it is 220v. Can I use this? Thanks
<p>How accurate have you found this build to be in terms of the diameter of the filament</p>
<p>Good for ABS, bad for PLA</p>
<p>I'm currently struggling with the filament diameter. The extruded filament is too inconsistent, sometimes it measures 1.40mm, sometimes 1.70mm sometimes 2mm, so it's unusable for 3D printing. I just ordered a Filawinder to see if that helps create a steady line of filament :)</p>
Did the filawinder fix the issue?
With high torq motor, can produce more filamen with less time
<p>Thank you for the reply! Yeah i figured i would need something like a grinder to shred those bottles apart, and aside from saving money buying pellets i wanted to throw in a bit of green and help save the planet lol.</p>
<p>Thanks, so will a stepper motor have enough torque?</p>
Quick question. Im in the process of buying a 3D printer but i quickly realized how expensive filament is. So i had the idea to make my own plastic recycler since we seem to go through cases of water in no time. So if i wanted to make plastic pellets out of the PET plastic of water bottles would this extruder work to turn it into filament?
If you are able to get the bottles into pellet size easily you are good to go.<br><br>However filament isn't that expensive anymore in my humble opinion. Where I live, which is in Germany, I pay for a 800gr roll around 20&euro;. This is made in Germany by a small company which specialzed on making filament only. But I have also seen 1kg no-name rolls on ebay for around 17&euro;. For a really long time I used this cheaper no-name filament and the quality was very nice. Also the diameter was (with both, the cheap and the &quot;more&quot; expensive&quot; filament) absolutely constant at 1.73mm +- 0.01mm.<br><br>Speaking of which. Getting the correct diameter on self-extruded filament and maintaining that specific diameter is a science in itself. This is a lot of trail and error. A lot of. And time is money and when considering it from the economic stance I fear that buying ready made filament is a bit more economically than making it yourself. All the more if you realize that getting PET bottles into pinhead sized pellets requieres a machine (or at least some manual laborious handywork) and buying pellets might be easier in the end. Because, you know, 3d printer shops sell pellets for hilarious high prices.
<p>Hey, Do you know if a 220v heater will work on 240v, thanks</p>
<p>yes it will</p>
<p>Just as an advice: DONT CONNECT THE HEATER UNTIL YOU HAVE CONFIGURED THE PID (See &quot;PID controller setup&quot;). I tried to test the machine before setting up the PID and it was configured to heat to like Volcanic-Rock-Melting-Point, and my Mica heating band almost burned. Also, the guide says &quot;Connect the 12V ports of Solid State Relay to the PID (Port 6 and 8)&quot; but it doesn't tell you that you must connect the cables with the correct polarity, otherwise the SSR won't transfer voltage. Make sure that the port 6 of the PID (negative) goes to port 4 of the SSR (negative) and port 8 of the PID (positive) goes to port 3 of the SSR (positive)</p>
I need help. I dont know how to setup the pid controller. I have tried and my heater burned. And i dont know how to setup the pid to control the temperature of the heater ;/
<p>I guess you figured out your PID controller problem ;)</p>
I had the same problem, and I can gladly help you :)<br>Email me at ecoprintcr@outlook.com
<p>Will a stepper motor be strong enough to replace the wiper motor?</p><p>Thanks!</p>
Can anyone give me about the flange dimension plz, i could not get it
<p>I made this extruder a while ago, and I also purchased a Filawinder to auto-spool the filament, but I'm having lots of troubles finding the right combination to extrude PLA with a consistent diameter of 1.75 or close. Any recommendations on RPMs, temp and nozzle hole diameter?</p>
I wan to make this ?
<p>I only found a 400mm long auger bit around here. Do you think it can work? Thanks!</p>
You do have to chop it off at the pointy end anyways.
<p>Verkauft vielleicht jemand seinen Extruder in Deutschland?</p>
<p>I was wondering can the heater band be over 220 volts because the one that i am looking at is 380 volts.</p>
Hi .I got a problem with the auger bir.Actually evwrything works fine but after a minute the auger bit gors towards to nozzle slowly and the motor locks.How do you solve or wht do you think is my mistake
<p>I have same issue too...If you solved please help me too.</p>
<p>You probably have a barrel that is too long for the auger bit. The auger bit ti has to end right after the barrel ends, or just a little further. In that way, all the plastic pellets will accumulate in the heating element and will prevent the shaft from going further. If the barrel is longer than the auger bit, the auger bit will have too much room inside of the barrel to slide back and forth.</p>
<p>Yes this was my concern also.The auger bit is longer than the barrel and locked at the heater so I should cut the auger bit at the end of the barrel right ?</p>
<p>I also want to know this ....!!! do you find answer ....?</p>
<p>I'm currently in the process of making this, but when testing it I've run into a problem. The melted pellets at the end, where they are about to be extruded, harden after use, around the auger bit. This makes it impossible to spin the auger bit until I've waited for it to heat up again. Anyone know how to avoid this from happening?</p>
<p>I have same issue...please tell me if you solved it !</p>
<p>Hi, i don't know if i did some wrong, but i bought a 3/4 pipe and a 16 mm drill, but i see many space between the lumen of the pipe and the drill. it's normal?</p>
<p>at Step9 you are using a brass adapter to couple the bigger Banheater to a smaller pipe? can you describe the dimensions please</p>
<p>It's on the list of materials:</p><ul><br><li>1x Water tap extension - 3/4&quot; UNC threads --- 1/2&quot; German Inch - 50mm long, 27mm diameter (one core thread and one exterior thread)<li>1x End cap 1/2</ul><p>It's a water tap extension like this: <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Thread-Extension-Female-Chrome-Brass/dp/B00LGJJX52/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1476079769&sr=1-3&keywords=1%2F2+pipe+extension" rel="nofollow">https://www.amazon.com/Thread-Extension-Female-Chr..</a><br></p><p>And an end cap like this one: <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SAS3UE/ref=pd_sim_328_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MJ85YTBD2S6JNWSBR3BD" rel="nofollow">https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SAS3UE/ref=p...</a></p>
<p>I have a problem with my extruder. The pellets get stuck between the auger and the 'wall' of the barrel at the front. Does someone know how to fix the problem? I already slowed down the motor and made the gap bigger, but still it doesnt work. thanks a lot in advance</p>
<p>There's not supposed to be a gap between the auger and the pipe, the auger should fit perfectly inside of the pipe. Otherwise, it means that your pipe is too big, or your auger is too thin</p>
<p>I'm in need of help :(<br>I built this extruder and works perfectly, but when I try to create filament using PLA, the filament contains lots of bubbles that render the filament useless. I'm using a mesh filter on the water tap, but that does not stop bubbles from getting into the filamemet</p>
<p><a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=%E2%80%8Bthe+plastic+hes+to+be+dry+no+moisture+pre+hitet+to+60+deg.&spell=1&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiYqf_z1rXPAhVCxRQKHYsmC-IQvwUIGygA" rel="nofollow">the plastic hes to be <strong><em>dry</em></strong> no <strong><em>moisture</em></strong> pre hitet to 60 deg.</a></p>
Thanks a lot for your suggestion. I was playing around with the settings yesterday and finally fixed the problem. All I needed to do was to lower the temperature of my extruder and also reduce the motor speed, that made the bubbles dissapear :)
<p>where do you get pellets?</p>
Ok, didn't see this question asked. Instead if pellets can I use filament from print projects that didn't work? Basically recycling my filament?
Never mind! Just found it!
<p>I cant download the instructions, someone has it please?? :c </p><p>Thanks a lot</p>
What is the insulation you would wrap around the barrel ... What is its name... Any link etc
It basically is glass wool with an aluminum shell wrapped around. It's a brand called isover.<br><br>You can check out this link http://www.hornbach.de/shop/Rohrschale-ISOVER-Protect-1000-S-Alu-22x20-mm-L1200-mm/200486/artikel.html<br>to find a substitue in your area.

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