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>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 $15 Ebay PIR and I will choose the safer option and use a SSR. I have just finished building a thermostat control with the REX C-100FK02-V*AN, a 25A SSR and a K-series thermocouple. It is controlling a 1500W element very well, with a slight 4 degree C overshoot during initial ramp-up. Hope this helps.</p>
<p>Hi all,</p><p>Would a 12V 10amp power supply suffice? or is that too much ampage for the windscreen wiper motor.</p>
<p>If all you are running is the wiper motor from your power supply you may even get by with a 12v 5Amp power supply. I haven't seen a motor yet that exceeds 2A draw (no load), and most are less than 1 Amp. Even adding a couple of fans (and mine also supplies power to the SSR) I have yet to get near 10 Amps. I'm going to put in a 5A fuse in the circuit and see if it gets that far.</p>
<p>can this handle plastic milk cartons and such if you shred them into tiny peices</p>
<p>By the way, just a question regarding electric schematics : why did you put switches 2 and 3 on neutral ? Any switch should be on line ?</p><p>By the way I draw wiring schematics on Illustrator for Sestos PID and Rex C100, if anyone is interested (but check twice with YOUR models to be sure of the wiring !!!!). On the original one, I kept the wiring color errors on SSR/PID.</p>
<p>If you are having trouble finding a pipe for the 16mm auger bit, home depot has a steel tube labeled as 1/2in however the inner diameter is actually 0.62&quot; if you read the specifications which is perfect for the 16mm auger.</p>
<p>isn't there a cheap substitute to that wiper motor under 5 or 10$ ? </p>
<p>Go to a local scrap yard, good source for motors</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>
<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>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>
<p>Thank you for the feedback, yet I don't understand the bit about teflon tape and printer nozzle (I only finished assembling mine during this weekend so am a total newbie)... do you mean you roll taflon tape around the brass nozzle threads and then screw it inside the heater? Is it a measure of prevention against melted plastic getting inside the threads while printing or is it for some other reason?</p>
<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>A question about the ball thrust bearing. If the auger shaft is 12mm diameter will I need to get a bearing with a 13mm ID to fit snugly onto the shaft, or will anything (within reason) larger than 12mm work. I can't find a bearing with a 13mm ID.</p>
<p>Nevermind, I found it.</p>
<p>This is very nice!</p>
<p>Will this work with PET plastic?</p>
Yes, this should work. Just lookup the melting temperature of PET.
<p>I also found that 16mm was a bit loose for the 3/4inch UNC fitting. The inner diameter of the pipe measures between 19.9-20mm, so a 19mm or 3/4-inch auger bit works best (Tried the 3/4-inch auger at Home depot, a tiny bit loose, but the best fit I could get among the Bosch augers there. Definitely better than the 16mm, or 5/8-inch, auger.)</p>
<p>I went with the 19mm auger bit and a 3/4&quot; pipe as well; however the bit wouldn't fit through the pipe. I'm going to have to go back to the store to either find a bigger pipe or a smaller bit.</p>
<p>Yes. Sourcing of specific parts is always a big mess. 'Just' try to get things that fit together. This is what I did. I went into my local hardware store and started to put things together to see if they fit. Then I incorporated it into my build. </p><p>All measurements I stated here can basically be exchanged with what you have available. It is not my intention that you have to order simple parts like augers or extenders for big money online. Grab on what you can get your fingers in local stores and adapt them. Just like you did with the water tap extender. This is DIY style.</p>
<p>How can I drill a 1.75 mm hole or smaller? Anyone has an idea?</p>
<p>You can find the drill bits in any size you desire on eBay, and they are relatively inexpensive. I would be first in line to recommend using a drill press rather than a hand held drill motor. You are talking about very thin bits and any movement that isn't straight will bend or snap the bits quickly. And don't be in a hurry!</p>
<p>With a 1.75 mm drillbit.</p>
<p>Hi thanks for the this instructables, can i use this PID controller http://goo.gl/Ds9XLg and where you buy your pallets?</p>
<p>Thanks for your works.</p>
<p>I'm done creating this and it's producing filament. However, I noticed that occasionally bubbles come out from the extrusion hole causing a &quot;snap&quot;, and this creates weakpoints in the filament that easily break apart with the slightest bend. I've installed the melt filter per your specification, but I still seem to get these filament-destroying bubbles. Any ideas?</p>
<p>Random guess: maybe your material is not completely dry and these are steam bubbles. I've read that PLA pellets must be completely dried (even in a dehydrator) before extruding.</p>
<p>Can we use the computer power unit instead of the mentioned power supply? It has a 12V output.</p>
<p>can i use PID controller AC version instead of DC 12v?</p>
<p>The AC version has a 12v DC output to the SSR, other than that they are basically the same. It just uses AC for all of its temperature controlling. It does not pass the AC on to the heater band, that is done through the SSR. I base this info on the REX C100 PID. </p>
<p>where can i find pellets that cheap? the only place i've been able to find are online and they kill you with shipping fees</p>
Your list of materials calls for a 200W band heater, but only a 60W power supply. Why is this? What power output is your band heater running at? It must be less than 60W according to your list.

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