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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Xonbie3 days ago

Has anyone tried this design with shredded recycled water bottles?

ianmcmill (author)  Xonbie3 days ago

I have tried to shred some PP flower pots but couldn't get it small enough.

But this should work.

Dave Hakkens has build some machines for plastic recycling as well. Check it out:

TylerB113 days ago

ATTENTION! The wiring diagram is DANGEROUSLY INCORRECT right now!!!

It shows the blue wire going to "L" (Live) and the brown going to "N" (Neutral). THIS IS NOT THE COLOR STANDARD!

The color coding most of the world uses is BROWN=LIVE, BLUE=NEUTRAL. In the U.S., it's BLACK=LIVE, WHITE=NEUTRAL. Right now brown and blue are reversed coming from the outlet!

If you wire it like this, it will probably work, but the power supply will be in an unsafe state! Parts of it may be energized with mains voltage that weren't designed to be!

AC mains voltage is nothing to play with -- if you are unsure, consult a knowledgeable electrician!

ianmcmill (author)  TylerB113 days ago
Ok. Then switch the brown to live and the blue wire to neutral. My wall socket outputs AC actually, so I must be own of the lucky guys.

If you are consequent in color coding and not just stupid copying stuff blindly from the Internet you should be good.

Fun aside...
if you are unsure contact an electrician or leave it be all together.

cartercar__18 days ago

where did you buy your pellets from? just wondeing Ebay?

ianmcmill (author)  cartercar__3 days ago
Sourcing local pellet traders if possible. eBay might be to expansive. Aliexpress or Alibaba have some good traders as well.
Saidli2 months ago

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

MaxM15 Saidli4 days ago

With a 1.75 mm drillbit.

pspuria18 days ago

hey guys, i found the threaded pipe at and the brasscraft 1/2 inch threaded cap

pspuria18 days ago

50mm (milimeters) is 1.9 inches im wondering if he meant 500mm (19inches) for the threaded pipe where the auger sits inside...

alvinchua10 months ago

Hi, I can't find a water tap extension, can you suggest other substitute ?

Can I use copper (fitting) bushing 1/2" and instead of cap I will use plug ?


i cant find it either

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.

i cant find it either

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

TheZippyMan21 days ago


Nice design!

Will these items work? I am not quite sure what you mean about "German Inch"...

This in the 1/2" 180mm configuration.

This in the 1/2" configuration.

Thank you!

PLA needs less heat? what temp would you recommend?

biastech1 month ago


I would like to build this for myself but, if some of the guys which already built this could post some info regarding variations in filament diameter would be great.

Thank you

Can I adapt this to use PET?

carroty2 months ago

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

Bindie2 months 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,

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.elhosseny2 months 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 ?
Bindie2 months 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)  Bindie2 months ago
Haven't seen such a variation before but if the pipe and the auger fit this should work!
Bindie Bindie2 months ago

Hey, would this work?

1/2" Flanges are around 10 $

ianmcmill (author)  Bindie2 months 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)  ianmcmill2 months ago

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

Bindie2 months 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)  Bindie2 months ago
And replacing printed parts with hand crafted parts (where possible) is always the way to go.
ianmcmill (author)  Bindie2 months 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.
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