Build your own 3d printer filament factory (Filament Extruder)

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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 - 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 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

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Can I adapt this to use PET?

carroty9 days ago

Where Would one buy these pellets? Everywhere I've looked online charges a fortune for shipping

Bindie22 days ago

Gathering materials: I have ordered a 16 diam 460 mm auger bit, here in Sweden pipes seem to be 15 mm inside, I called a workshop who can mill it to 16.5 mm inside (no problem), what is the inner diam of your 1/2" pipe?

can u tell me the dimensions of the agure if I want to make it by myself on the cnc machine ?
Sure, could try to do a Solidworks drawing.
but I need an specific dimensions to be accurate so how. can get it?

Hey, I have measured the auger-drill bit. Made an image:

Let me know if I missed something.

Hey, I got the drill-bit today, The diam of the drill bit is around 15.3 mm. The round part of the shaft is 10 mm, the hex-shank I haven't measured yet with a socket (will do and report that back).

Specify the dimensions you need and I'll report after measured.

Kind regards,

I haven't the Auger-drill 16mm diam 460mm length until 12th April. I can take photos of it then so you can have specific dimensions.

Kind regards,

Saidli19 days ago

How can I drill a 1.75 mm hole or smaller? Anyone has an idea?

Hey, iam working on it but I have a problem such at that the other end of the auger I dun know how to fix it to be able to put a load on it it is not stable any help ?
ianmcmill (author)  nader.elhosseny1 month ago

Hey, which side of the auger do you mean ? The auger just needs to be fixed by the axial ball thrust bearing and because it fits snug into the barrel it should be stable, too.

Hey,I'm going to make the agure through a CNC M/C so can u tell me more about the parameters of it to be designed and the flow rate in & out ??
aha I can c now what u are talking about , but I need your advice about another something , I made unqualified power screw (agure) what is its pramerters and specification to be able to design an accurate one suits to my own thanks very much for your time and effort , keep it up ?
Bindie24 days ago

Hey, is the end cap 1/2" diameter or inner diameter? To the water tap extension, end cap but not faucet filter, can you add whether it's diameter, inner or outer?

ianmcmill (author)  Bindie23 days ago
Haven't seen such a variation before but if the pipe and the auger fit this should work!
Bindie Bindie23 days ago

Hey, would this work?

1/2" Flanges are around 10 $

ianmcmill (author)  Bindie24 days ago

As I recall 1/2" is the inner diameter. But that's german (water)pipe inches. So this just depends on the pipes threaded end and/or tap extension you use.

ianmcmill (author)  ianmcmill24 days ago

Generally you can use whatever your local hardware store offers as long as it fits together.

Bindie26 days ago

Hey, 3D printing the wood-pipe-channel piece, would that be a way to go? Does the pipe get to hot to use abs?

ianmcmill (author)  Bindie25 days ago
And replacing printed parts with hand crafted parts (where possible) is always the way to go.
ianmcmill (author)  Bindie25 days ago
I think this is critical. The heat at that piece might not be too high (guessing 60°C-80°C) but it is possible that the wood-piece you want to print in ABS becomes soft and as there could occur strong forces pushing against it, it *could* warp. So I would not recommend doing this.
Bindie29 days ago

Hey, looking into materials.

Would this as a heater band work?

There is this also:

Bindie Bindie29 days ago

Sestos don't seem to ship to Sweden,

I found this:

Would it work?

ianmcmill (author)  Bindie28 days ago

The PID seems legit.

About the heater bands: I am not sure if 80 Watts are sufficient but you could prove me wrong.

Now comes the dangerous superficial high voltage knowledge into play. You have been warned ! -> Well, the 300W heater may be a bit overpowered but I can be totally wrong. The thing is, this runs on 110V. The solid state relay has an output of 24-380V. (Dangerous half-knowledge) This means the heater band could work with this.

Anyways, be sure your power supply can meet the demanded wattage else it will burn down your house. I guess this is 80 watts too. Perhaps buying two and plugging them to the wall socket?

What volts should the heater band run on?

Bindie Bindie26 days ago

Did research, found:

Motor controller 20A:

Heater band 25x30mm 220V AC 200 W:

Dual PID set:

Now, the Auger-bit, can one go with 400 mm length?

ianmcmill (author)  Bindie26 days ago

Looks all pretty much the same as what I have. Except the heater band seems a bit expensive IMHO.

As for the Auger-bit, it needs to be cut to size so it fits into your build. Can be cut roughly were it would meet heater band once all is put together.

Good day!.. Im building this one, but im using 24V, 10A supply, wiper motor seems to work fine with the motor controller (According to my research wiper motor is 12V - 24V. The other thing that I'm at doubt is the heating band, can I use 100W heating band here? is it enought to heat the filament?. Please reply. Thank You!

ianmcmill (author)  marcangelo.boniel1 month ago

I am not sure if the 100W is too weak. I used a 200W heater band. This can mean that you need longer to heat up to the desired temperatur. If you already have the 100W heater band just give it a try and report back here. This would be really cool as others could adapt this.

Thank you so much!... About the barrel mount is it really the name of that? or there are alternative names?. I cant find barrel mount, the one you use to insert the 1/2" fitting.

barrel mount.jpg
ianmcmill (author)  marcangelo.boniel1 month ago

No this is not what it is really called like. I just used this term for the build process so that one knows what it's function is.

Search for "flange 1/2 inch "

Thanks! :)

rgillary1 month ago

Here is the water tap extender I found bought which is also in UK. I saw the other one but wasn't sure about the chrome. One small point to note is that this one has a raised ridge running down the length which I had to sand down to let the heating element fit neatly.

Where can you get the water tap extension in the USA? or maybe a substitute? I've looked all over and can't find it.

also is it 3/4" to 1/2" or both ends should be 3/4"?

both ends 3/4" but it really depends on the end cap you purchase

dbardroff1 month ago

For those of you struggling to find a "water tap extension" here is one on ebay (UK). It is a big pricey but ships worldwide. After searching Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Walmart, and Bed Bath and Beyond, I am more than happy paying ~$22 for this unobtainable part.

BrotherX852 months ago

Great tutorial, nearly finished building it.

I'm in the US and I'm running into the same problem as fred_dot_u; there is a very loose fit between the 16mm auger and the 3/4" pipe as the inner diameter of the pipe is nearly 22mm, leaving a 3mm gap on all sides. I will try to see if a 1/2" pipe fits better or possibly get a thicker auger.

Hi BrotherX85,

I'm in mid build and spotted the large gap and have used a 19mm auger bit. For my part, I'm in the UK and I strongly suspect that the U.S. inch is smaller than the UK inch. If you can find smaller pipes I would say that is a better option cost wise.

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