Plastic for a filament extruder

Three years ago, I wanted to buy a 3d printer, but at that time filament was expensive and hard to get, you had to import it from America and the price for 1 kilo PLA or ABS was around 25 euro, so i decided to wait for it. Now, three years later, I looked again for a 3d printer but the filament price is still around 20 euro for a kilo, which shocked me because the price for PLA or ABS pellets is much lower than that.

I remember from that time that there were a couple of open source filament extruders. Now there are dozens of ready to use filament extruders on the market but the filament price is still sky high, isn’t that weard? So I came up with the idea to buy this (“ filament extruder to make 3d printer plastic which i can sell on the market. But i can’t find plastic pellets (raw pla or abs plastic), i can only find some american suppliers who sell 500 gram bags for a couple of dollars.

Is there anybody who has an idea to make this to a success? It looks so simple, do i miss something?


The market price for ABS is 1420 euro for 5000 kilo, that’s 0,284euro for 1 kilo, there are websites which ask 10 usd for 1 kilo! There has to be a cheaper solution.


a couple of retailers:

The typical Extrusion Rate for this extruder is 5-8 hours per kilogram on 50 watts average, which makes the electrical cost per kg extruded: 10 cents (according to And the ABS pellet cost is 0,284euro for 1 kilo (according to my last post), which makes the cost theoretically (around) 0,40 euro for 1 kilo of extruded ABS.

I know that this is a best case scenario, and that the electric and especially the ABS cost will be higher, but the margin between 0,40 euro and the 20 euros 123inkt asks is sky high!

Let’s fantasize a bit, we set the “extrude cost” (the plastic and energy cost) on 3 euro for 1 kg, than you still make 17 euro on 1 kilo in 8 hours (if you sell it for the same price as 123inkt). The machine cost (including shipping) is 320euro, which make you earn the machine back after 19 kilos or 6 full production days.

I absolutely do not want to start this now, i was just dreaming around, and i know that there will be some setbacks if you do this, and i know that it is impossible to produce plastic for 6 full days with this equipment, but despite that it still looks like a gold mine!

Hi Marcoher,

below an example that the material cost are only a small fraction of running a 3D printer.

Colorfabb (Expensive but a superb quality, nice colours)… 750 gram a 30Euro = 0.04 p/gram.
The running cost of a standard printer (don’t forget your Write-off cost) will be at Least 2 euro p/hour.
So my yesterday (fast big volume) print costed me 113 gr = 4.50 on filament and 6hours x 2 =12 euro on running cost.
123 inkt sell’s good standard white for 20 euro/kg. so that’s only 2ct/gram.
In my opinion the material cost of prints is only (on average, compared to the printing time) a quarter of the total cost, with cheap pla and a time consuming print it might be only 10%.

So in my opinion, it wil not be easy to make any money off making filament from new granulate.
And please be aware, after working for and being involved with Prec. plastic for a year, making filament is not as easy as advertised by commercial companies…… A lot of kickstarter projects, but not to many who make it to decent machine builders and suppliers.

But don’t let me discourage you ;)….
recycling plastic is the way to go!!!

(op zijn engels iets uitleggen valt me nog niet mee, dus als je op zijn nederlands verder wil mag dat ook, of anders een berichtje naar kees@p……p……com kan ook)

regards Kees