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>If you put a failed print back into it would it work?</p>
<p>Should work if you manage to grind it to small pieces.</p>
<p>That is my question. The extruder is a really nice instructable but what makers want apart from buying granules to make the majority of their material is a granulator. This would then allow recycling of failed prints, rafts etc so that there is no waste, great for the enviroment and the pocket too !</p><p>Before I retired I worked at a company that made tungsten tool tips, for masonary drills and other engineering applications. I worked in the powder room where we prepared the powders for the pressers and part of the process was granulating the blocks of tungsten, the machine we used was actually meant really a sugar granulator but the screen could be changed to allow different sized granules to be made. Some thing like this would be perfect for reprocessing used plastics for extrusion.</p><p>Keith</p>
<p>hi</p><p>I do not see the link in the picture, the more draw</p><p>thank you</p>
<p>Congratulations on a very nice product</p><p>no flange on your list, what size, how is mounted axial ball, flanş- Auger bits</p><p>thanks for your interest</p>
<p>Firstly thank's and congratulations for this project.</p><p>I have a question: When i look on Ebay (and other places) for the Heat Band with the specs listed on BOM (and 120V - mostly used in my country) i cant find it. I can use another type?</p>
<p>My heating band was rated for 380V, I used it with 220V no problem... it's a resistor, any voltage will do, really.</p>
<p>Thank's for your answer and good luck with your project.</p>
<p>I DID BUILD THIS!</p><p>Alas, since the only reason I did it was to make my own filament with PET bottles, it was a total disappointment.</p><p>Not that I was expecting any different...</p><p>Here's the report:</p><p>http://www.ephestione.it/experimenting-with-plastic-bottle-pet-filament-extrusion-for-3d-printer/</p>
<p>Nice experimenting!</p><p>I have read your blog and watched the videos. At which outside temperature did you extrude? The clogging could come from several things.</p><p>Maybe the nozzle was to cold so that the PET solidified to early. I have not used PET before. Nor did I cut the plastic by hand. I could imagine that PET is more difficult to extrude on such a machine than any other plastics. It's melting point is quite high.</p><p>Did the plastic chips cant/tilt between the auger and the pipes ?</p><p>You need a steady flow of input material so no air builds up in the pipe. Bulky plastic chips are suboptimal.</p><p>Also it might be more cost efficient to turn in the bottle deposit and buy cheap PLA.</p><p>PLA has become very cheap these days. Also other more exotic filaments are now affordable like TPU or others.</p><p>Also to get crystal clear filament you really need a super constant flow of input material. This is super critical. Nevertheless printing with crystal clear filament never gives you crystal clear prints. There will always be entrapped air while printing which results in frosted looking prints.</p>
Thank you for your consideration, and before that, thank you very much for this guide, which among all the ones on the internet, is the clearest IMO, and inspired me to follow.<br>Don't let the pictures mislead you: there, I always uncovered the nozzle area from the rock wool in order to shoot it better, but as you see in the video I took care of covering it as much as possible with the insulation while the motor was working.<br><br>My impression as well was that the feed of plastic was too poor: you need to cut PET into maybe 5x5mm flakes, tops 1cm side (I am using a large assembly after all, it's 3/4&quot; tubes and 20mm auger), while I only had a string, which at the last moment I cut with scissors one piece at a time (ugh) while feeding it inside the tube, the auger actually spat out the pieces and that's why I put that vertical tube on the junction, otherwise there would have been pieces flying everywhere. Plus, I had too little supply, meaning that I stockpiled quite some bottles, but none of them were flaketized before, some were just stringed.<br>And in general, flakes being flat, they easily get squished between the auger and the tube, so there is much less pressing effect.<br><br>I imagine having proper pellets, which are heavier, smaller, and you can just unload them in the funnel, would give better results as the intake flow is faster.<br>Maybe pre-melting the PET into a big mass of goo, then crushing it with a hammer (as it become very glass-like) and then feeding such pellets inside the machine.<br>Still, WAAAY to much work, time has a cost as well after all.<br><br>I read on your blog about the local supplier where you got 10kg of ABS pellets from, and that's why I contacted another german seller, and several other plastic working industries here in italy, to see if I can get supercheap pellets (not more than 2&euro; per kg).<br>Cheapest filament I've found is 16/17&euro; per KG for ABS or PLA, in bundles of 4 kgs, from Germany, but at least you just plug it in and it's ready, no fussing about.
<p>what kind of power source do you use for the motor that can supply enough power?</p>
<p>that would be the 12V 20A power supply...</p>
<p>Welchen Filter? Zuschneiden lassen oder wie? 0,5mm...?</p><p>Oder? Billiger kleiner filter wo kaufen...:)</p><p>LG Jakob</p>
<p>Eng: I took one of these ordinary tap aerators with gaskets and just cut away the gasket</p><p>Ger: Ich hab einfach diese Peralotreins&auml;tze f&uuml;r Wasserh&auml;hne genommen. Da ist so eine Gummidichtung au&szlig;enrum. Die hab ich einfach abgeschnitten</p>
<p>Hello,</p><p>im from Germany and I would like to build a Filament Extruder. But im really struggling with those parts:</p><p>Fitting 3/4&quot;, Water tap extension - 3/4&quot;, Faucet-mounted filter, End cap 1/2&quot;.</p><p>If I google those parts I find different parts, I dont want to buy wrong parts. Could anyone help me please?</p><p>Thank you very very much</p><p>Kind regards</p><p>Sami</p>
Hi Sami<br><br>I got all these parts from Hornbach - Sanit&auml;rabteilung <br><br>
<p>Danke, dann schau ich mal dort vorbei :) </p>
<p>Ok, I'm finally halfway building this, after getting all the parts.</p><p>I thought I found a very smart way to deal with the plastic intake, which is using a T junction. I am using 3/4&quot; tubing and a 20mm auger.</p><p>Since my objective since the start was using plastic off PET bottles, I thought that by just scrapping PET into long strings (as seen on a youtube video of a russian survivalist who devised this very cheap device to turn plastic bottles into string) I could just feed that string into the barrel.</p><p>Well, in my case the auger does pull the string inside while rotating (heck it's scary) but it just gets wrapped inside the segment rotating in the T junction and doesn't progress further; all the while the motor starts overloading and getting hot and the whole assembly moves about even if under no load there is hardly any oscillation.</p><p>Now, before I go back and try cutting an opening in the barrel instead to see if, by reducing the leeway around the auger (the T junction is obviously larger inside) the PET string gets pulled along the barrel (I would like to avoid having to mince the plastic in small pieces to feed it to the machine), maybe someone who has a working sample of this machine can test by producing such PET string and see if it gets pulled in the barrel correctly?</p>
<p>isn't there a cheap substitute to that wiper motor under 5 or 10$ ? </p>
<p>I don't know of any. Wiper motors are around 15&euro; on ebay (GER) or 10&euro; on your local junkyard.</p><p>Some extruders use geared stepper motors. But they are often very expensive.</p><p>Also some other extruders use geared DC motors and they sell them with their kit and single but they are also very expensive like 70$. </p><p>Anyways I really like the Filastruder. If I had access to PLA pellets I would also consider buying such a kit. On the other side PLA filament is today so damn cheap you cannot save much from making your own filament from pellets. I recently bought 1kg PLA for 16&euro;. Think of the time and effort you need to generate your own filament you don't safe much. Also recycling failed prints really is a nice idea. IF you manage to grind it to small pieces....but then again I run off the track :D</p>
Hello i am looking to make this and i was wondering hiw good quality the filament is and can it really make 1 kilo per hour
<p>Regarding this, I've been building my shopping list on ebay this afternoon for this project, and for the life of me I couldn't find wiper motors at the prices you listed. Cheapest was one from lithuania just because it had just been listed at 1GBP starting price plus 10GBP shipping, I doubt it will stay that way, otherwise everything, even second-hand, is 20-30+. I just tried searching for </p><p>Wischermotor since you just mentioned germany, and I did find cheaper ones but the shipping to Italy kind of kills any convenience. Only option left is trying at the junkyard.</p>
<p>Go to a local scrap yard, good source for motors</p>
<p>What if you want to make a custom filament, like metal or wood filled plastic? Would you have to melt the plastic, mix in the filler, and then drip it into the feed chute? Or would you mix the pellets and the filler, then feed that dry into the extruder? Would it mix well enough during the melting phase inside the extruder? Does the loading part of the tube/auger get hot enough to keep a liquid plastic liquid as it travels to the extruding head?</p>
<p>Very cool!</p>
<p>Hello! First of all, great project you have here! I would like to know where can I buy pellets as cheap as 1$/kg like you said. Thanks a lot for your help!</p>
<p>can this handle plastic milk cartons and such if you shred them into tiny peices</p>
<p>Polyethylene is probably the easiest of plastics to use as it melts at the lowest temps of any plastic. Just check the internet for temperatures - you don't want to burn it all up. Look for the number in the triangle on the plastic bottles so you are sure which plastic you are using. You will need to grind it up enough to fit into the extruder auger.</p>
<p>question: the 1/2 inch end cap; where did u get it what is it made out of, what department could i look in. would home depot or lowes have it?</p>
<p>I'm not sure you need the SSR if you have a PID that can switch 250VAC/3A. For example, the REX-C100. Can anyone confirm?</p>
<p>I am using the REX-C100 for my build and I have 110 VAC supplying power to the unit. This PID has a 12 V DC output at pins 4(+) and 5(-). I'm not sure what the amperage will be at the heater band as I haven't turned it on yet (later this week) but I am using the SSR because the heater is 300 watts (from the AC) and I don't think it would be a good idea to try to control that from the PID. Those connections are a bit fragile looking for that much power. A lot safer all around to use the SSR! This unit is made to work with the SSR anyway. Besides, I don't see any AC output from the PID.</p>
<p>I'm using the same PID. Could you send a sketch of your pin layout? I'm not sure if I have this right and don't want to risk anything. I have 8 and 9 going to the thermocouple, 6 and 7 to 3 and 4 on the SSR (respectively). The author has pins 9 and 10 going to the power supply; however I'm not sure where this lines out on the REX-C100. Any illumination on this would be much appreciated.</p>
<p>If you got your REX C100 on ebay with the SSR you will find that the terminals marked &quot;relay output&quot; are just that - relay output. There is no voltage of any kind on the terminals because it is just a switch activated by the controller. I was puzzled when I turned on my unit to see that the SSR was not getting any power to turn it on. I checked out the SSR with a 9V battery and it worked perfectly! So I just took a tap off the 12VDC power supply to pin #3 and pin #4 goes to the SSR +. (don't forget to use the V- of the power supply for the other terminal on the SSR). Works flawlessly! The issue is that the seller combining the PID and the SSR as a set leads you to think that you just have to connect the 2 pieces together and it will work, but it doesn't. You need to tap into your PSU for some DC voltage for the SSR. I was actually ready to throw it away until I found out about it!</p>
<p>Take a look at the datasheet here:</p><p><a href="https://www.mpja.com/download/rex-c100.pdf" rel="nofollow">https://www.mpja.com/download/rex-c100.pdf</a></p><p>It says &quot;Relay contact output: 250V AC, 3A&quot; so it looks like it is indeed <br>specd to handle that much voltage and current. If we are switching a 200 <br> watt heater at 120V AC, that is only 1.7 A, so we are good on both <br>voltage and current. </p><p>Maybe I'm missing something though?</p>
<p>Be sure to check the model ID of the REX c100. Mine is the FK02-V*AN. I cannot find any AC output on that model. Perhaps you have a different model. The &quot;V&quot; in this model is for a SSR only. Maybe the &quot;M&quot; model or the &quot;8&quot; model would work. Check your model numbers carefully! I don't think I would use one without a SSR, it's just easier all the way around!</p>
<p>Hi foul_owl. You could use the internal switching of the PID if it's capacity meets the load. However, if you look at some of the reviews of these PIDs, their external contacts on the back of the unit are screw terminals, but they can have spring-loaded contacts internally. Over time, these contacts can become intermittent, or arc, especially with a full load.. In addition, the circuitry can leave a lot to be desired.. It can be safer to route the full load through a SSR and have a much lower loading on the PIR. If I was using a $100 industrial PIR I would switch the load directly.. I am planning to use a $15 Ebay PIR and I will choose the safer option and use a SSR. I have just finished building a thermostat control with the REX C-100FK02-V*AN, a 25A SSR and a K-series thermocouple. It is controlling a 1500W element very well, with a slight 4 degree C overshoot during initial ramp-up. Hope this helps.</p>
<p>Hi all,</p><p>Would a 12V 10amp power supply suffice? or is that too much ampage for the windscreen wiper motor.</p>
<p>If all you are running is the wiper motor from your power supply you may even get by with a 12v 5Amp power supply. I haven't seen a motor yet that exceeds 2A draw (no load), and most are less than 1 Amp. Even adding a couple of fans (and mine also supplies power to the SSR) I have yet to get near 10 Amps. I'm going to put in a 5A fuse in the circuit and see if it gets that far.</p>
<p>By the way, just a question regarding electric schematics : why did you put switches 2 and 3 on neutral ? Any switch should be on line ?</p><p>By the way I draw wiring schematics on Illustrator for Sestos PID and Rex C100, if anyone is interested (but check twice with YOUR models to be sure of the wiring !!!!). On the original one, I kept the wiring color errors on SSR/PID.</p>
<p>If you are having trouble finding a pipe for the 16mm auger bit, home depot has a steel tube labeled as 1/2in however the inner diameter is actually 0.62&quot; if you read the specifications which is perfect for the 16mm auger.</p>
<p>Perhaps this as been asked before but I was wondering why the nozzle hole is just 1.5mm, and not 1.75 ? Does the plastic expand is it cools, or when the pressure is released when exiting the nozzle? <br><br>I am new to 3d printing, so I don't know how fine the precision need to me on the filament diameter for a good print. </p>
<p>What is the model of the PID you are using in this instructable?</p>
<p>[1] what is the specifications of this wiper motor its volt and torque? and can you give me link of it in online store ?</p><p>[2] can i use computer power supply ?</p><p>thanks in advance.</p>
I'm running it for seconds by now, but I use a 245W PSU and no problem. But do check amperage of the +12V output and do not forget to short the green cable to start the psu.
Oh, and nooooooooooo way at all to find any flanger, so I'll use this (erm I'll try in fact)
Oh, and nooooooooooo way at all to find any flanger, so I'll use this (erm I'll try in fact)
Well, after 1 year and no time to work on it, I'm back :-P <br>I have 2 questions...<br>- The diagram shows a switch on the pid. I put mine on the heater (between 220v input and heater), is it better to place it to short the pid (and the heater) or can I keep it there ? The idea eventually is to switch-control the heater... <br>- Is there any part of the extruder that needs to be linked to the ground ? Safety first... ;-) <br>Thank you :-)
<p>Gotta love the wiring diagram with black color for positive line and red for negative ;-)</p><p>But seriously, yours is the best and most promising tutorial I found and even if I started 3d printing just yesterday I will definitely build it sooner or later.</p><p>One observation though: PTFE is pretty much resistant to high temperatures... yet it is only up to a little more than 200&deg;C, so maybe it's not the best to be used on the nozzle threads? Is yours still fine? Would kapton tape be overkill under the nozzle threads?</p>
<p>Good point on the PTFE tape! I sometimes had the plastic squeezing out on the sides. Kapton could work, too. But from the sheering force you apply when screwing the nozzle in I guess the tape could be mangled. </p><p>Nevertheless I use PTFE tape on all my 3D printer nozzles without any problems. I print PLA with up to 220&deg;C and the tape still holds tight.</p>

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Bio: AMA trainee teacher studying teacherism 'n stuff. Ask me questions!
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