3D Filament Fuser

19,593

67

27

Introduction: 3D Filament Fuser

This instructable is for a 3D Filament Fuser/Welder/Joiner to join 2 pieces of 3mm 3D Filament together.

Step 1: The Heating Element

Take a hair straightener (25mm wide) that can heat up to 230°C. Mount this on a stand to keep the straightener from moving around all over the workspace.

Step 2: Filament Holder/Guide

Cut a piece of PTFE (PTFE tubing can withstand temperatures up to 680 °F for limited periods of time.*Above 500 °F, mechanical properties become a limiting factor) tube approximately 36mm long (here’s the trick, the ID of the PTFE must be 3mm, OD was 5mm). Any bigger ID will make the process a lot more complicated, nearly impossible (Tried and tested that, didn’t get any good results).

Step 3: Applying Pressure on PTFE Tube

Put a piece of tape around the hair straightener in order to get some pressure down on the PTFE tube. (This helps the PTFE tube from sliding around on the plates to loosely, and prevents it from just falling out.) Also ensures that heat is sufficiently transferred to the filament.

Step 4: Filament Heating

Switch on the hair straightener on 220 - 230°C. PTFE Tube must be inside the hair straightener before switching it on. Wait for 1 minute before inserting the 2 filaments.

Step 5: Fusing the 2 Filaments

Insert the 2 filaments into the PTFE tube. Apply pressure by pressing the 2 filaments together, keeping pressure until the 2 filaments fuse together. Check whilst pressing the 2 filaments together that the filament remains in a straight line. This step will take a bit of mastering, but will make or break the joint.

Step 6: Removing the Filament

Remove the filament from the hair straightener, and allow it to cool down for a few minutes. Put it under a fan to speed up cooling. Remove the PTFE tube by sliding it along the filament.

Step 7: The End Product

This should be the end result.

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Space Contest

      Space Contest
    • Plastic Challenge

      Plastic Challenge
    • Retro Tech Challenge

      Retro Tech Challenge

    27 Comments

    0
    jimmicheal
    jimmicheal

    7 months ago

    I'v build this thing but am having a problem finding PTFE tube 1.75 mm id. Other wise it works.

    Lert me know where to get small dia tube.

    THANKS.
    Jim

    0
    jimmicheal
    jimmicheal

    Reply 7 months ago

    I finally found 1.75 id PTFE tube, from Capricorn Tube go to http:// amazon.to/39PZXxA. I havent installed or tested it yet but thsts where it is available.

    0
    eet.bulaga
    eet.bulaga

    Reply 6 months ago

    Do you have another link to the tube? This one doesn't work for me.

    0
    Hamster14
    Hamster14

    Reply 7 months ago

    Excellent. When tested, let me know how it works on the 1.75mm filament. Share a print as well when successful.

    0
    jimmicheal
    jimmicheal

    Reply 7 months ago

    to Instructables

    I will do that. But it will take time as Im was UPGRADING my Prusa I3 to I3s and had a problem
    I am weighting for parts. They will be shipped from Prusa on the 18th of March.
    I will keep you informed.
    Cheers
    Jim Rainey
    0
    Hamster14
    Hamster14

    Reply 7 months ago

    Thanks. Good luck with the printer upgrade.

    0
    Hamster14
    Hamster14

    Reply 7 months ago

    Hi Jim, I am also battling to get PTFE tube with ID of 1.8mm - 1.9mm. Best I saw was 2mm ID. Will let you know if I can find the right size.

    0
    Springfield-Jack
    Springfield-Jack

    4 years ago

    Why not cut the PTFE tube in a spiral so that it can be removed when joining two spools?

    0
    doug_scott
    doug_scott

    Reply 1 year ago

    No need to worry about taking the PTFE tube off after the joint is done, pretty sure you will still end up with a free end to slid it off after you roll the new piece onto your old roll. You could put it back into the "Fuser" after it cools if you don't want to hang onto the tube.

    0
    Hamster14
    Hamster14

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, one can leave it on and I would just monitor so often that it does slid along the filament nicely.....until the next joint or fusion is to be made.

    0
    Zaphod Beetlebrox
    Zaphod Beetlebrox

    Reply 4 years ago

    Loss of rigidity would probably negate the selected interior diameter of the PTFE tube.

    0
    Hamster14
    Hamster14

    Reply 4 years ago

    Hi Zaphod, you are right, as soon as you cut the PTFE tube, you loose the rigidity thereof. When trying to then join the filament, the PTFE tube flairs open, leaving you with a spoiled joint.

    0
    Springfield-Jack
    Springfield-Jack

    Reply 4 years ago

    How about placing the spiral cut or maybe just sliced length ways, in a split metal tube?Slightly more complicated but removable.

    0
    NeilRG
    NeilRG

    Reply 1 year ago

    I have contemplated a metal tube but making one would require a lathe or at least a drill press, both of which I have, but which many in the community do not. Still, it might be possible to find brass tubing at a hobby shop, or copper tubing at a home center, or forming half tubes around the shank of a drill bit of the right size. In any case I would solder the half tubes to a small brass or copper plate to improve heat transfer.

    0
    Zaphod Beetlebrox
    Zaphod Beetlebrox

    Reply 4 years ago

    I think any cut that you make will also decree the ID, it might not be a big enough difference to mater but maybe it would. Most filaments specify a tolerance of 0.05mm. If you have a Bowden set up you could just leave the tube on, it won't be able to go through to the extruder wheel. At least not on my printer, could be different for you. I think the lengthwise cut would be better than the spiral. But might cause the same problem.

    0
    NeilRG
    NeilRG

    1 year ago

    Well presented. I have an idea that might help. Put two pieces of wood on either side of the straightener to help keep the filament aligned. If one lacks the ability to cut the wood with the required accuracy, one could use screws facing upward from the fixed support set into blind holes in the wood that aligns the filament, then nuts threaded onto the screws would provide the height adjustment.

    0
    Hamster14
    Hamster14

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for the suggestion. Would consider looking into it.

    0
    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Good idea. Then you can just seamlessly go from one spool to the next.

    0
    Hamster14
    Hamster14

    Reply 4 years ago

    Works perfectly.