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>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>https://www.instructables.com/file/FI8TI61HT3E0B73/</p>
<p>The reason the ends of pipe neck down is because of the pressure from cutting it, and threading it. Just cutting pipe with a pipe cutter crushes it down some.</p>
If i want to manufacture my own ABS what is the pillets material i want to open a small production line ? Any help ?
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> Well that could be true if you are a casual user of 3D Printer, but if you really want to put your machine to produce it is expensive. Yes you can need a shreding machine and this Filament extruder and work in calibrate and got a consistente filamente, but when you got it, you can low your budget to 5Euro/Kg (pellets) or 0Euro/Kg (Recycle). But the best thing is the green. By the way you dont need make the filament Extruder. The Italian guys who made the Felfil Evo sell it in 500Euro or 280 Euro for basic parts and you put the electronics (arduino basic), there is another kits too. So I think many people can got great savings for this.</p>
Yeah i already have a modified cross cut paper shredder and it destroys water bottles to tiny flakes with ease. Im gonna try to put this filament factory together and see how it works out. Im mostly doing this as a way to give plastic bottles a new use since i know most people dont care to recycle
What brand are you looking at? There's some decent filament out there for a fair price of around $25 a KG.
<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>
<p>Hi. I have a 12V DC heater element (~12A). Do you think that if I connect the heater directly to the PID will work fine (PID powered with the 12V 300W power supply)? Or should I make a sepparate circuit with a DC/DC SSR?</p>
It might be possible but I don't recommend it, when the Heating band gets hot it starts drawing more amps which might burn your PID. Regardless of the type of heating band you have I recommend you to get an SSR, it will serve as a kind of safety device to avoid your PID from getting burnt. SSRs are cheap, PIDs are not ;
<p>Ok, thanks. Should I put two different power supplies, one for the PID and another for the heater element? Or should it work with the same power supply?</p>
<p>One should be enough for the entire project</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 ;/
Sorry for not replying earlier, I don't check Instructables very often :(
<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
My filament is 1.75mm, can this make it.
<p>Hey, what's the overall cost of this machine, and how difficult was it to source the parts?</p>
<p>Will a stepper motor be strong enough to replace the wiper motor?</p><p>Thanks!</p>
<p>Not it is not enought, however you can look a geared stepper and check the Torque, you will need gears reduction because torque is big.</p>
<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>
<p>Hey, Do you know if a 220v heater will work on 240v, thanks</p>
<p>yes it will</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>

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