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
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>Is there a difference between Wiper motors and regular motors?</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>
<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>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 ;/
I had the same problem, and I can gladly help you :)<br>Email me at ecoprintcr@outlook.com
<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.
<p>Okay ... (y) Thanks !</p>
<p>I have a question. I know that you can avoid the auger bit from kicking back thanks to the bearing. The bearing fits loose on the hexagonal part of the auger bit but stops right when the circular part of the auger bit starts, and that serves as a stop in case the auger bit tries to push back.</p><p>But... what stops the auger bit from going to the front? Are the plastic pellets being pushed to the front all that stops the auger bit from going further to the end of the barrel?</p>
<p>Preasure in the barrel fitting being built up by pushing pellets to the front keeps the auger from moving forward. </p><p>When you drill a hole into a wall you need to apply preasure on the drill first. As long as the wall acts force against the drill, the drill is &quot;pushed back&quot;. If you drill all the way through the wall, there is no more force that pushed against the drill/auger and the drill pulls itself &quot;into the wall&quot;. But as the pellets come down in a constant stream there is always enough preasure that applies force against the drill so that it never pulls itself to the front but pushes itself constantly to the back.</p>
<p>how long does it take for a feet/ meter to be made? and how much pellet do i need for a feet/meter?</p>
<p>That's explained on the first paragraph of this tutorial: &quot;(4-5 meters per minute)&quot;<br>About the amount of material needed, I found this:<br><br>PLA</p><p>1.75 mm filament length for 1 kg spool: ~ 330 meters / ~ 1080 feet</p><p>3.00 mm filament length for 1 kg spool: ~ 110 meters / ~ 360 feet</p><p>ABS</p><p>1.75 mm filament length for 1 kg spool: ~ 400 meters / ~ 1310 feet</p><p>3.00 mm filament length for 1 kg spool: ~ 130 meters / ~ 430 feet<br><br><a href="https://www.toybuilderlabs.com/blogs/news/13053117-filament-volume-and-length" rel="nofollow">https://www.toybuilderlabs.com/blogs/news/13053117...</a><br><br></p>
<p>Don't forget! Extruding speed depends also heavily on the material you use. The higher the MFR (melt flow rate) the faster. The plastic used in this instructable is an ABS/PC compound with a higher MFR than pure &quot;default&quot; ABS. However there are plenty of ABS types with different MFR. You need to check out their datasheet.</p>
<p>What's its electric energy consumption ?</p>
<p>this is beautiful. just what i need another damn project. haha love it.</p>
<p>What RPM does the motor spin at?</p>
<p>Between 30 and 60 rpm, but you can regulate the RPM with the motor controller</p>
it may have already been asked before but is the consistency good?<br>meaning the thickness doesnt vary from 1.5 to 1.6 or down to 1.4?
<p>You must fine-tune your machine to extrude filament in the desired thickness. The thickness depends on the size of the extruder tip hole, the rotating speed of the auger bit and the temperature of the heating element. Once you fine-tune all those settings, the machine should extrude plastic with excellent consistency</p>
<p>ok ... how did you get the auger inside the barrel? i bought an 16mm auger and a 1/2 &quot; barrel. I am from germany too. Somehow the openings of the barrels are too small. </p>
<p>You have to sand both ends of the barrel, for some reason, the ends are smalled than the inside of the tube. There is a picture on the guide showing it:</p><p>http://www.instructables.com/file/FI8TI61HT3E0B73/</p>
<p>In progress. </p><p>My simple version of the barrel mount &amp; kickback protection.</p>
Almost finished need to locate motor...
<p>You might be able to run the filament through a tub of water to cool it down quicker as it is ejected from the barrel. I saw this on &quot;How It's Made&quot; when they made wiring.</p>
<p>check out these guys http://preciousplastic.com/en/ they have detailed drawings/pdf downloads to create machines to break down plastic into pellets and then extrude or use pressure to create new products</p>

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