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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 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

 
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1-40 of 150Next »
lbeira10 days ago
Hey, how long is the barrel and the auger bit? And what tolerance did you leave between auger bit and the barrel? Thanks for your help

what size thrust bearing is needed? I see several sizes

Perceval1715 days ago

Nice one, I started to build one according to your instructions :)

I
have misc. stuff that fits and a wiper motor from my old car (Citroen AX, what a
luck !!), I have to order several parts (but I can't find any band
heater with the good size, volting input (110V only, no more 220V...) or
watt (too low or 300W)). I couldn't find a 12V PID, so I bought a 220V bundle (PID Rex C-100 + SSR + probe) directly connected to 220V AC, and just using a classic ATX PSU (with P4 plug, this adds two more 12V outputs available).

Alvinchua > You can get that on any plumbery/DIY store, you should stay away from "chromed" extension, prettier but much more expensive !

alvinchua15 days 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 ?

TIA

Orngrimm20 days ago

Just a heads up for those shopping for the mica heaters:

If you have the classic Bauhaus-Tap-extender with 25mm outher diameter, you will sometimes find it hard to get your hands on 25mm inner diameter mica-heater.
Let it be known that 63/64" inner diameter also works and are commonly available in shops from Hongkong.

Also wrapable (often in fiberglass) heating bands or heating strips can be used.

You are a lifesaver .. many thanks.

kurgelak1 month ago

have you the 2mm hole drilled through or so that the plastic does not come out?

ianmcmill (author)  kurgelak1 month ago
Ah okay now I understand... Took me some time to figure out what you were talking about. If you mean the hole for the thermocouple, this is not drilled all the way through. Just 2-3 mm into the surface. Is this what you mean ?

Yes that´s what i mean. Another question about the wiring, i made it according to your wiring diagram, but the heating band does not heat. could you make pictrues of your heating band and ssr and put it in the comment? I have this pid bought http://www.amazon.degp/product/B00JLATRNQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8 &psc=1 I did as you wrote it changed ctrl on 2 and 190° for ABS it blinks AT and 190. The out led lights.
Can you help me pls?

has be done, have plus and minus exchanged. on your wiring diagram is plus and minus exchanged, so it didn't work for me.

mykiscool1 month ago

Hey guys, what do you think about grinding up some graphite (old pencils?) or some carbon of some type and mixing it in with the plastic to make a carbon fiber sort of mixture.

ianmcmill (author)  mykiscool1 month ago
Absolutely doable. Did you check out proto-pasta ? The stuff sells for 80$ a kg.
The only thing you have to do is get the right ratio. 15% would be a good start.
Ok cool. Thanks for giving me a suggestion to start off with!

Hi there,

I have bought most of the components for this great extruder but I don't know where to get the pipe for the barrel. I am in the UK. can anyone help?

ianmcmill (author)  totalstranger1 month ago
Have you tried at a local or online plumper store ? For example I got the flange only online and not in my home improvement market.

Many thanks. It's all in the name .. for anyone else having difficulty locating this part, search for 'black iron nipple'.

I've done some very similar searches in the past so i am surprised i haven't come across it before. ;)

mrbiohazard1 month ago

Very nice ! I started one myself.

I just got 1 question the thermocouple comme whith a threaded body.

How do you remove the threaded body ?

or you just cut the wire and solder them together ?

thank you !

ianmcmill (author)  mrbiohazard1 month ago
The threaded cap fell off by itself :) I did not solder the two wires together. I just tied them together.
You can cut the whole wire to the length you need.

When it comes to Thermocouples remember:
The shortest you can, the longest you must.
Troyanus1 month ago

Hallo,

Im 12. Jahrgang des Beruflichen Gymnasiums Technik der BBS
Lingen findet eine Projektarbeit statt.

Wir haben uns für das Projekt "Filament Extruder"
entschieden und deshalb nach geeigneten
Extrudern zum nachbauen gesucht. Nachdem wir den Lyman Filament Extruder
V2 nachgebaut hatten und feststellten, dass
unsere Version verbessert werden sollten entschieden wir und dazu ihren
Extruder nach zu bauen. Wie Sie auf den folgenden Bildern sehen können sieht
der ihrem auch sehr ähnlich :).

Nun zu unserem Problem. Bei
ca. 6V (24VMotor) läuft alles Prima und der Faden ist verwendbar.
Allerdings ist die Geschwindigkeit so klein, dass es ca. 20 Stunden dauern
würde um 1kg zu produzieren. Dagegen sind ihre Geschwindigkeit anormal!!!

Wenn wir jedoch die Drehzahl erhöhen kommt es sehr schnell zu
Lufteinschlüssen im Filament und der Durchmesser vergrößert sich auch extrem.
Außerdem kommt kaum mehr Filament aus der Düse obwohl die Geschwindigkeit
vervierfacht wird.

Haben sie eventuell eine Idee woran das liegt oder wie wir
das Problem lösen können?

Des Weiteren frage ich mich welchen innen Durchmesser ihr
1/2 Zoll Verlängerungsstück hat weil unsers mit 19mm doch sehr groß ich im Vergleich zum 16mm Rohr. Könnte
es sein das dadurch sich das Filament wieder nach hinten wegdrückt uns somit
der Druck wegfällt? Wie kann man das Beheben?

Wir wären Ihnen für Ihre Hilfe sehr dankbar

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Julian Buitmann

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power0002 months ago

hello guys, i have done this very nice construction but i have a main problem. I have use two gears, one with 12 tooth for moter wiper and one with 35 tooth for the auger.

But, even so, the speed of the motor wiper is not stable,that is because the huge preasure of the pellets and MAINLY because motor wiper is working only with 3.5 volts! As the matter of fact,i have realize that because voltage is so small, motor haven't enough power to spin the auger with a very stable speed. Motor should work with at least 9v so than drain around 2-3 Amper. Now, at 3.5v it drains only around 800mA maximun.

My power supply is big enough (10Amper) and it is not the problem.

I have also use pwm pulses with L298N but no good results. So i suppose i have to find a gear for auger more than 35 tooth, or i wish i could find a scad file to to do it, but i didn't find.

I am using ABS from LG. Nozzle is 3mm but i have done it 3.5mm because i think it is a little better. Filament gets out is from 2.5mm to 3 mm. Temperature is around 210-220 Celsius.

I canot understand how yours is working without any gears!!!!!!!!!!!

How many volt do you supply your motor, or if you use pwm how many Amper it consume?

ianmcmill (author)  power0002 months ago
Hi !
Nice you have made one !
I use a 12 volt power supply with 240W.
The 5 amp PWM I used before went up in smoke. Now I am using a 20A PWM. So it consumes >5A and <20A. An educated guess would be 14-ish
This thing spins pretty nice. Like the observations you stated e.g. motor speed not THAT stable. Maybe +-10-15% deviation.

The nozzle size like you said is really a research thingy. Varies from plastics and temperature.

As for the gears, I always try to simplifiy things. Gear were my first thought (from bicycle) but I soon changed my mind and went with the direct method.

Could you post some pictures ?

I cannot understand how yours is working without gears. Iit would be very useful if you upload a video just only to see the speed of the motor.

I change gears again, motor gear is now 12 teeth an auger gear is 40Now voltage is 5, more power but no good results.it is 2.6.. to 3mm. But, i found the reason.Problem is now with hopper.When pellets are in hopper and is hearing that characteristic sound that pellets starts broke, there is big problem. The problem is that at the exact time that auder break pellets, speed is not the same because it slow down juuuuust a little,but the same time stretch motor continues pull up filament with the same speed and that point filament is thinner. Thinner i mean from 2.8 , it is 2.5. I don't like this, i am trying to solve this problem now. One solution could be to speed up motor and with a reduction gear ,auger obtain more power. But no money, so some ideas would be usefull.

Look at the next video ,how important is air after filament extruder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkhDE_g_O2Q&feature=youtu.be

ianmcmill (author)  power0002 months ago
​Holy cow!! Is this your Extruder ??

The air cooling construction is genious!

The gears reduce extruding speed drastically. This chains and gears look monströs. Maybe a bit overpowered ? ?

Those wipper Motors are power beasts. I don't think that gears are necessary.

I will make a video today wuth my finished build.

There is already one up in YouTube from an older version. The filament in this video has some bubbles in it. This was fixed later as you can read in the instbl.

DIY Filament extruder: http://youtu.be/lgatDFxOtxs
power0002 months ago

hello guys, i have done this very nice construction but i have a main problem. I have use two gears, one with 12 tooth for moter wiper and one with 35 tooth for the auger.

But, even so, the speed of the motor wiper is not stable,that is because the huge preasure of the pellets and MAINLY because motor wiper is working only with 3.5 volts! As the matter of fact,i have realize that because voltage is so small, motor haven't enough power to spin the auger with a very stable speed. Motor should work with at least 9v so than drain around 2-3 Amper. Now, at 3.5v it drains only around 800mA maximun.

My power supply is big enough (10Amper) and it is not the problem.

I have also use pwm pulses with L298N but no good results. So i suppose i have to find a gear for auger more than 35 tooth, or i wish i could find a scad file to to do it, but i didn't find.

I am using ABS from LG. Nozzle is 3mm but i have done it 3.5mm because i think it is a little better. Filament gets out is from 2.5mm to 3 mm. Temperature is around 210-220 Celsius.

I canot understand how yours is working without any gears!!!!!!!!!!!

How many volt do you supply your motor, or if you use pwm how many Amper it consume?

hobbyman2 months ago

Finally somebody did this. Very nice and useful.

Could it be better if we make it upside down, hot flament coming from the bottom, staying straight while cooling down?

ianmcmill (author)  hobbyman2 months ago
Hmm so you would need a winder or something because at some point it will curl up anyways. Letting ut curl right away makes a little less mess I would say.
ariporad2 months ago

Hi,

Would it be possible to a modified version of this with the motor from my old drill that broke? Or not enough torque.

Orngrimm2 months ago

Cool instructable i have to say! :)

But 2 things elude me:

1st: Why do you make a coubpling from the Auger-bit to the motor in the first place? The auger is pressure-releaved with the Axial ball thrust bearing... So why not dimply to a (diameter-shise) 1:1-connection with a nut? It still can have some play in it to account for bending into the steel angle with the Axial ball thrust bearing pushing against...

2nd: What SSR do you use? I know what a SSR is and it may have come with the PID you ordered, but often i find PIDs without SSR's. I havent seen it in the parts list... I ask for all those people who buy a PID without SSR and have to shop one or for those who dont know that the PID as it is "only" the brain and the SSR is the "muscle". One without the other is useless. I think a offer from ebay like http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-240V-Digital-PID-Tempe... which contains PID-Controler, SSR and Thermoprobe for 27$ could fit the bill quite nicely.

I plan on building one if these extruders with some modifications... Like the nozzle will be made of brass and easy to change for different diameters of filament. Unfortunately the project is on low prio due to spare-time-problems (as always)..

Oh! One last Q:
With the heater on the extruder-pipe, the pipe warms up all the way back up to the fitting on the board. Isnt that a problem to have a hot metal on the wood? Or does the pipe not get hot this far back?

ianmcmill (author)  Orngrimm2 months ago
1) You are right. I built both mounts before I found out that I could just put them closer together. Anyways ordinary nuts might be too short but there are spark plug nuts. They are 2-3 times the length of an ordinary nut.
2) ebay: SSR-25DA Solid State Relay 3-32V DC / 24-380V AC
The one you linked is an AC version. I used a DC version.
I am not very clear about what the exact difference is in wiring those two versions. As my PSU does only deliver 12V I went with the DC version. Like this one http://www.ebay.de/itm/Dual-Digital-LED-PID-Temperature-Controller-K-Thermocouple-25A-SSR-/310946242975?pt=Mess_Pr%C3%BCftechnik&hash=item4865d7219f

This is the seller's shop
http://www.ebay.de/sch/welcometoyyz/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=

They asked me if I wanted the DC or AC version so I went with the DC version. This one shipped with an adequate SSR.

3) The heat does not play any role. I estimate the temperature to maybe 50°C-60°C. No Problem. The "flange" actually might work as a heat sink due to the bigger surface.

The AC-Version (of the PID and SSR) enables you to simplify the wiring-diagram: 230V AC goes directly to the PID as supply. No need to wire it up to the 24V powersupply.

The 24V is now only used for the motor. If we find a motor which runs on 240V AC we could ditch the Powersupply alltogether... :)

Thanks for the answers!

I was shopping today in the local (small) Bauhaus... Found a lot of material and bought some parts...

Here are some informations i found out during shopping and this evening:

- The Pipe-extension has an outher diameter of 25mm so i shopped this heater: http://www.ebay.com/itm/321294408248

- The 1/2" (German) pipe has some nasty weldings on the inside... I dont understand how you sanded it out all the way along the inside... So i bought a 16mm-drill for metal to drill out the seam on the inside of the pipe...

- My 16mm-auger drill has a round shaft of "only" 12.5mm diameter. Model: "Craftomat" (Bauhaus-Brand). So i will need to modify the way to mount the axial-bearing (Available in 12mm which is too small or 15mm which is a bit big to mount on the auger directly): I will add a washer ID=13; OD=24 betwheen the Auger-Tapering (from 12.5 to 16mm) and place the axial bearing behind that. This enables me to use slightly oversized axial-bearings for this :)

- My Bauhaus didnt have flanges and i had to buy them on ebay for quite some money (around 5€/pcs):http://www.ebay.com/itm/301147931978 Ahwell...

- Also had to improvise on the filter you used as breaker before the nozzle: Bauhaus had no metallic faucet-screens. Only pastic ones... I will replace the faucet-filter with a hand-cut circle of metallic fly-screen. Easy! :)

If it is OK for you: as soon as i found the time to actually do the build and not only shop for parts, ill make a instructable (my first) with what i changed during the build... It will be some sort of "I made ianmcmill's extruder and changed those parts"

ianmcmill (author)  Orngrimm2 months ago
I took a file and removed the inner weldings. A stick wrapped with sand paper wirks as well.

Metallic fly screen should work as well.

I had to order the flanges as well.

Go ahead with your instructable. We need more of those filament extruders ! Looking forward to it.
ianmcmill (author)  ianmcmill2 months ago

Ok I have updated the material list. Should now be more consistent.

esnowden22 months ago

all my materials just got in from ebay and various other vendors...wish me luck

ianmcmill (author)  esnowden22 months ago

Good luck ! Post some pictures and report back !

Machine2 months ago

Very nice Instructable. Love your enthusiasm.

ianmcmill (author)  Machine2 months ago

Thanks Machine !

flaboy712 months ago
I purchased a 98 m3 bmw wiper motor but it goes the wrong way, counter clockwise, how do I get one that goes the right way.
ianmcmill (author)  flaboy712 months ago
Just interchange the two wires of the motor. Every DC motor can turn CW or CCW just by wiring it +/- or -/+.
esnowden22 months ago

I have attached a photo. What is the best length for this pipe coupling I will need for the heating?

5-2-2014 10-03-19 AM.png
ianmcmill (author)  esnowden22 months ago

Double the length of your heater band.

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