Developments of the Filament Extrusion Machine

Hello everyone,

Dave asked us to publish some updates concerning the filament extrusion project, we will be using this topic to do so. We encourage any questions or suggestions you might have!

So who are you?
Van Alles Wat Ontwerp is a small design agency in Eindhoven (NL) founded by Koen, Gijs and Frits. We do all sorts of projects, both digital and physical, we love anything related to 3D-printing, have a look on our website if you are interested: http://www.vanalleswatontwerp.nl/

What’s the plan?
The plan is to produce filament using the extrusion machine Dave and Kees build. If all goes well everyone will be able to 3D-print using recycled materials. The machine that we will build needs to do two things; pull out filament at a constant rate and cool the extruded filament. We chopped the design of this machine in three major components; A: the ‘caterpillar’ (the thing that pulls on the filament), B: the ‘filament guider / coolers’ (the thing that supports and cools the filament) and C: the frame (the thing that holds space, matter and time together.

So what’s the latest?
Last Tuesday the extrusion machine 2.0 got delivered by Kees and Dave, we discussed about the design of the filament extrusion machine, we’ve included some pictures of the design in this post. Let’s talk a bit about the design.

The frame; we are using scaffolding tubes as a frame, with L-profiles and u-bolts we try to give the user the freedom to adjust the position of the different components.

The filament guiders / coolers; the most important function of these is to cool the filament. We will be using computer fan’s to take down the temperature of the filament as quick as possible. Cooling with water was an option we considered, but we figured that this would be a lot easier for other people to build.

The caterpillar; so this part is controlled by an Arduino to let the machine-operator dial in a specific pulling speed of the filament (this determines the filament diameter). After the caterpillar the filament will either drop in a bucket or be spooled on a filament spool.

Oh, forgot to mention we made a ghetto setup using stuff around the office and we produced the very first spool of 3D printable filament! 😛

hi, great work, im working now on a extruder, wich melting T° its recomended for 3D print filament???

Hi, im Sergio Salazar, im from Mexico, and im a part of a group interested in the recycling plastic and we all admire your work and social activities, in the other hand we are very interested in to produce filaments from recycling materials, we have been investigate about this process, but we can’t find how the 3D printers can identify this material and can work with it, so, is it necessary a special 3D printer that can work to this material? or it need a special additives or something like that? or maybe is it the extrusion procces the key?.

I would really appreciate if you help me with my research, thank you.

Hello keesdeligt

I’m new on the field of 3D printer, I really don’t know to much about it yet.
I would like to ask you if you think that the filament, will work with MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer?

Thank you.

Thanks fot the advice!
So, that 3D prnter are capable of using the material that I will make with the extrusor.
What do you think about the Da vinci Pro 3D printer. It has open filament system too.

I can’t wait to see the final model of the filament maker!

Thanks again!

best wishes!

Hi Pocho,
I am using a Ultimaker original, with a heated bed. the heated bed is a must.
The household recycled plastics like PP,PE and PET will not stick on the bed when it is cold. All because of the plastic shrinking when it cools down. I am in need of closed chamber. (Closing the printer) To be able to let the print cool down more evenly.

Greetings form Ecuador!
Please, what 3D printer model did you use?
I´m very interest in building the machines and bring Precious Plastic to my country!

It takes some test and fine-tuning to find the right settings settings for making filament.

and the first print.

Different color blends.

It’s been a while since we have been working on the filament maker. We had our focus on developing a good extrusion machine first. @keesdeligt started playing with the filament today. Still a lot to explore in this area like melting temperature, speed, types of plastic. But we manage to get a pretty consistent line out of it.

Hi @lyricalpolymath

– I’m interested in the extruder and filamenter and would like to know if this filamenter is an add-on for the current extrusion, or if it would be a machine on its own?

This is an add-on for the extrusion machine. However it will probably stay in prototype-phase for a while, takes a long time to fully test it out and its not our main focus.

– Are there any plans and bom available?

There will be this winter when we release everything!

– is the plastic that you recycle into the filament only PLA or 3D printer compatible? have you tried 3D printing with HDPA or another type of plastic? Is that even possible (without damaging the 3D printer)?

Our goal with this thing is to have a consistent filament output, with any type of plastic. Altough 3D printers are still limited when it comes to using different types of plastic and use mostly ABS and PLA. We think other types of plastic will be suitable in the future 3D printers.

Hi, since this is my first post let me start by giving you all my thanks and praise your (collective) work! 🙂

– I’m interested in the extruder and filamenter and would like to know if this filamenter is an add-on for the current extrusion, or if it would be a machine on its own?
I mean, can we use the extruder in this machine to produce the normal preciousplastic example products or is this only for the filament maker.

– Are there any plans and bom available?

– is the plastic that you recycle into the filament only PLA or 3D printer compatible? have you tried 3D printing with HDPA or another type of plastic? Is that even possible (without damaging the 3D printer)?

thanks in advance

http://www.redetec.com

I know there are a lot of these rigs out there, I only like this one because it is small and it spools really well (apparently)

Here are some more pictures:

Here is another update on the Filament maker. We’ve redesigned most of the parts that were used in our first prototype. Biggest changes are:

– an aluminum angled profile to support and cool the filament (instead of the metal wheels)
– more cooling fans at the front of the machine with fan-guards to protect fingers
– improved the part that retracts the filament by including a spring
– added a filament spool reeler

Here are some pictures:

First prototype of the filament maker!