(Delo$tuder) Fillament Maker for 3d Printer on the Cheap (first Working Prototype)

Introduction: (Delo$tuder) Fillament Maker for 3d Printer on the Cheap (first Working Prototype)

create your own 3d printer filament at home without any special parts / component / tools needed.

just using basic / common material that is available near you.

I am building this only takes less than a days, but with some adjustment and tuning need a bit more time to achieve.

Step 1: Preparation and Tools / Parts Required


I am sure there is a bunch similar with kind of these laying around at the web, But now I am going to share what I did so far, and I am quite satisfied with the result.

feedback will be really appreciate so I Can make this even more better and improved.

so... lets get started

parts that I used

1. wooden drill bits. this is for mixing and pushing the pallets into the heater chamber and compress it.
why using wooden bits ? not iron bits. you may already aware on that. no need to explain.
Acquire by : Buying this in local hardware store for 1.5 buck

2. some metal / stainless tubes for the barrel / heating chambers, square metal bars for the body / frames...a piece of thin iron plates welded together and shaped as you like for the Hooper of the pellets.
Acquire by : Buying this in Junk store for 0.5 bucka kilo :)

3. some ball bearing to connect the drill bits axes to the gears to make a smooth rotation. this time I am not needed any housing for the ball bearing, I just welded together with the frame.
Acquire by : Buying this in Junk store for FREE include in above  :)

4. gears combination and chains to drive the axes.
Acquire by : Here I am using small and old, unused bicycle of my little son and gear combination it just perfect, and all off this is contribute to him :) for the first place

5. off course the motor to make this running. here I am using the 12v cars wiper motors, or geared motor with low speed and high torque is a must.
Acquire by : Buying this in Junk store for 10 buck

6. heater element...to juice the pellets and melt it. here I am using real reprap ceramic heating element. (this was my 3th attempt)
Acquire by : eBay -- Chinese markets for 2.5 buck shipped.

Step 2: ASSAMBLE and Make It Running

Before we are jump to next step, I am going to share a bit of stories ....

by the way this was my 3th attempt, since my previous step to make the heater element working was failed.

at the beginning, I am using the heater element from rice cooker heating wire and because I have no thermostat or any similar circuit to control, I just connect it to the 220V wall source, the pellet plastic gets melts so bad until it's become a liquid and produced so much smokes and it's become FLAMMABLE -- SUDDENLY I JUST THINKING AND THIS ALSO INSPIRED ME IT COULD ALSO CAN BE USE TO TRANSFORM THE PLASTIC TO OIL :)
and the last...because of uncontrolled heat, the heat wire shield can not hold to much heat and its grounded to the metal barrel (because I am not have any kapton tape or similar on hand) and the wall electricity gets SHOCKED me....THIS IS SO DANGER. SO PLEASE BE CAREFUL IF YOU USE THIS METHOD, I HAVE WARNED YOU AND TAKES NO ANY RESPONSIBLE TO ANY INJURY YOU MAY HAVE -- PLEASE BE CAREFUL.

The 2nd attempt is by using the nickle wire which I am obtained from my wife hair drier (this is my second person who deserve to earn the contribution of this machine) ...but it's FAILED TOO :(.
The reason why,  I can not get correct and proper voltage and ampere to control the heat (AGAIN).


After you gather all necessary parts in previous steps.. just do the assemble. see the picture for more details, sorry I have no better word to explain, just let the images explain to you.

Also with my limited of knowledge and self-taught experience with many many time I gets failed, FINALLY some stage I am able to make this THING running. after doing some modification and some adjusting.


this device is now running with 12v dc...so this will saves me from wall electric shocked.

The power source can be obtained from modified PC power supply (DO A GOOGLE SEARCH IF YOU NEED MORE DETAIL ON HOW TO DO THIS) or by using cars or motorcycle battery.


1. NEED TO REWORK ALL PROCESS AND USING PROPER MATERIAL ( I am planing to use BRASS) so will looks more interesting


If you see at the images, I am using TWO DC 12V Ceramic heater (located at top and bottom on the barrel) extruding PLA and ABS pellets is just melting perfectly. BUT ABS require more time for heater to hot enough.

I am powering directly this thing to Modified PC PSU 12V line

and to get slow speed on the motor I am powering the car washer unit directly with PC PSU 5V line (and works like a charm)

3. ADDING SOME FANCY CONTROL and PANEL UNIT to makes more eye catching

4. POSSIBLY WILL DO THE COVER so will looks like commercial product :)

Step 3: RESULT




And I just find out that by adjusting the MOTOR rotation speed I can get different result.
with motor running in 5V I can get 1.60 - 1.80mm filament diameter
with motor running in 12V I get 3mm in filament diameter.


TO SEE ON HOW THIS THING WORKS ? just watch in the video bellow.



THIRD PART -- Runing the motor with 12V instead of 5V




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    18 Discussions

    Wow, that's a cool project, and I think I'm not alone in thinking that we need two things:

    1. A step-by-step instructable of how you made it, and how you run it.

    2. A video of it running.

    I'm curious as well, whether you have tried running it with recycled plastics, like shredded bottles?

    8 replies

    I also would like to see a way of using plastic bottles, maybe there is a crude way of turning the bottles in to rough pellets then put them in this to size the filament.

    I'm thinking of pushing the plastic in to a big extruder manually, have the extruder running really hot so it creates drips, allow them to fall a few feet and cool in the air.

    You are right this is an excellent project delokaver has assembled. To use waste milk bottles a hammer mill will be required to chop the bottles into fine pieces for the filament maker. Then using the filaments in 3d printers... recycling at its best. Hats off to you! Keep up the good work! :)

    You thought drip drops thru air, I thought drip into icy water, spin/air dry them, use dry pellets thus created in an extruder (Lyman etc) Can water get inside the drops?? I'll race you to a machine. Have copper tubing, loads of plastic bags, willing to share, LOL!
    Im getting a Sense scanner (problematic apparently but one has to learn for oneself) and a Mendel Prusa 8x8x4, Whoever solves plastic bag/bottle recycling (without contracting lung cancer) is onto a winner. I see brilliant 3D printed plastic bottle pseduo ice sculptures ahead!

    I would love to race you but I have other comitments and I just buy my filament right now, dont use the printer much these days so not much call for me to build it.

    or how about letting drops fall into a bucket of ice cold water, then put them in a muslin bag & spin them around (outside) for 5mins to dry the pellets? Why didnt I think of the first bit :) Im trying to turn vegetable tray plastic which seems to melt easily and comes in nice strong colours like blue and brown, into useable filament.

    problem with that is you could end up with trapping water in the drips which would be flashed to steam later and could cause issues

    hello ...

    for step by step progress, hope I can make it more detail on my next build, I am planing to build another one with more nice looking (hopefully soon)

    and for video on how it works ... will uploaded as soon as I get home :)

    I am sure this could be also works with plastic / bottle recycled, as long as it's small enough and not too thin and fit into the feeding chamber otherwise it will slip in between the drill bits and it's housing and make the motor works really hard and finally stop running / jammed.

    I have done this at the first stage I am building this. I am using a bottle and scissors. BUT since the cutting is to big and the plastic bottles is too thin, it's slipped inside the chamber and makes the motor working really hard and finally it's JAMMED.

    I was also thinking to build my own shredder grinder crusher, but after thinking about its efficiencies not really worth enough to do. here I can buy the nice and machinery processes plastic pellets for 0.8 buck a kilo , and I think a kilos of this pellets can be produce hundreds meters of filament or even thousand meters.

    in other words, if we looked from the other aspect / globally, this will be really help and contribute to save our planets by doing and recycling the plastic waste.

    still busy for works and have no free time to do the second mockup .. will try as soon as I have time

    the only thing I have to buy is the ceramic heater and I bough 10 of those for $10 shipped (eBay), Car wiper motor (get locally here for approx. $6 (used) ), and some metal parts and some misc (drill bits) and etc . so I can say it will roughly approx $50.

    if you have some similar part laying around and you can use it than probably more cheaper.

    Was thinking to replace the ceramic heater with soldering iron element, but need to get experiment on these to get the right heat (control the solder heating element)

    the only thing I have to buy is the ceramic heater and I bough 10 of those for $10 shipped (eBay), Car wiper motor (get locally here for approx. $6 (used) ), and some metal parts and some misc (drill bits) and etc . so I can say it will roughly approx $50.

    if you have some similar part laying around and you can use it than probably more cheaper.

    Was thinking to replace the ceramic heater with soldering iron element, but need to get experiment on these to get the right heat (control the solder heating element)

    Hi delokaver

    I think if you used something like this you could control the filament diameter very well.

    Also where are you from or where are you building this.


    2 replies

    Hi WWC,

    thanks for the link, this will be for my reference for my next building :)

    I am from Indonesia, and building this at my home with some welder tools to make the frames. after collecting some necessary parts, mostly I can get for cheap .. the only items I should buy is the ceramic heater from eBay.

    I have done my video on how this operates, I'll post it later today.

    Also I found 2 different filament diameter by adjusting the motor speed.

    with 5V powering the motor I can get 1.60-1.80mm still need to do some adjustment to get the constant result
    and with 12V powering the motor I get 3mm with 2 times faster than with 5V

    Hi delokaver.
    My internet has been out for a couple of days so just replying now.
    Great glad that link may help at some point. I look forward to seeing what your next version will look like.