3D Filament Fuser

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

Supplies:

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.

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    14 Discussions

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    CharlesS17

    3 months ago

    I can't thank you enough for this idea ... I've been all over the internet trying to buy a filament splicing tool. This is about as cheap a solution as I can think of that is also effective and "clean" (no candles / flames / etc). I tried this a couple times, each iron is a little different, I found 250C was good at setting for my iron to get the filament to join. I also dipped my filament in acetone to clean the ends and pretack them as well. Cheers. Two thumbs up!

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    spurgco

    4 months ago

    Thank you for this! I think I have managed to weld 3 spools together now. Very simple and easy to source.

    1 reply
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    Hamster14spurgco

    Reply 3 months ago

    Pleasure, Glad this was of help.

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    markk7

    2 years ago

    That's great, and hair straighteners are much easier to find at the thrift store than a hot-end (like in other designs I've seen). Gotta try this

    1 reply
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    Hamster14markk7

    Reply 2 years ago

    Definately agree, better to use everyday available materials, and is a bonus when it works well too.

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    Springfield-Jack

    2 years ago

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

    4 replies
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    Hamster14Zaphod Beetlebrox

    Reply 2 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.

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    Springfield-JackHamster14

    Reply 2 years ago

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

    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.