Smart Filament Extruder

Ok I know that Dave has already come up with a “3d filament extruder Prototype” but I think the “add-on setup” to Dave’s Extruder as shown in his video is quite space consuming. I also saw the Lyman-Mulier extruder, which although also great, is quite small in terms of production capacity. But some elements from it can be borrowed and used in conjunction with Dave’s Extruder. The sketch below illustrates it.

here the extruder, winder and LCD display is from Dave’s design and the puller roller, width sensor and the placement of a single yet powerful fan is from Lyman-Mulier extruder.

Well the thing is I dont know an awful lot about electronics so i need your help in combining the codes/programs of both the machines as well as help me understand what part serves what purpose and is there anything thats unnecessary.

i want to build the machine asap and here’s what i need from the machine-

  1. good production capacity at about 1-1.5kg/hr
  2. display width of the filament
  3. automatically wind the filament
  4. display the amount extruded
  5. automatically rectify the temperature if there is change in diameter with regards to the preset value

if you haven’t seen Lyman-Mulier extruder here is the link Lyman-Mulier Extruder

here’s the sketch

I built mine about a year ago but left the proyect on hold. Just the extruder is not enough if you want to make usable filament.
The problem with 3D printing filament is that you need thight tolerances. If you are making 1.75mm filament, you can be off by +0.05mm or -0.05mm which requires lot of control of your extruding process. If your filament is thicker it will clog the printer, if its thinner will cause extrussion “skipping” or “grinding” on the printer extruder motor.

Appart from the extruder, you need a water bath to cool the filament as soon as it comes out of the nozzle, a pulling mechanism with automatically controlled RPMs to stretch the filament, a filament width monitoring system to measure the diameter of the filament and adjust the pulling motor RPMs to the perfect speed, a set of rollers to make the filament smoother and less brittle, and an automatic winding system.

I have pretty much all of these elements already, but need to improve my puller mechanism and work on the arduino code. Work has kept me busy :confused:

@jegor-m well i haven’t cos all electronics and coding was above my head. I wanted the help of someone who has good understanding of code and electronics but no one came forward so 😕

@sharma-sagar, @xxxolivierxxx,

So any of you got any further in developing one of these filament extruders?
Is it worth the time?

@sharma-sagar It’s all about trying and testing man, play around with your extruding settings until you can get the desired output…

@xxxolivierxxx the spooler kinda looks cool man. is it as difficult as it seems to make?

Also what specifications of motor would you recommend for the extruder to get the aforementioned output?

@xxxolivierxxx i saw this width sensor earlier and it liked it but I want to know how to configure it to show reading on the LCD display in Dave’s prototype blueprint. i don’t understand electronics at all.
also will it change the temperature if there is a problem in the preset width?

Here’s a tutorial for a width sensor:

And this is an auto-spooler idea i’m working on:

@xxxolivierxxx yeah absolutely! but the plastic being recycled for the first time kinda works good although its true that some amount of virgin pellets will be needed.
Recycling or not, don’t you think having and automatic winder, width sensor and a display would be great just coz we can?

Also can you help me?😂😂

Go for it then 😉
3D filament made of 100% recycled material equals to cheap filament and while it will work, the end results will not be as good as using virgin filament. Plastic thermoplasticity is not unlimited, multiple heating/cooling cycles will degrade the molecular structure and it’s widely known in the 3D printing world, which is the reason why companies like Filabot and Lyman himself recommend to use a ratio of 70% virgin pellets, and 30% recycled material.

@xxxolivierxxx there’s a company called REFLOW that is selling 3d printer compatible filament made entirely from recycled bottles. the only thing is the plastic has to go through some cleaning and drying process. As far as i know using recycled filament is not an issue for 3d printer its just that less people use it.
the good thing about Dave’s Extruder especially its nozzle is that it can always go from a 3d printer filament extruder to a normal extruder popping a sturdy line of plastic which is not the case with Lyman’s extruder. I don’t think using Dave’s extruder to make printer filament beats the purpose of recycling its just that we are using it for a much practical application, which even Dave has used it for.

I have been following Lyman’s and Ian McMills’s extruders for a few years, since they started with V1 of the extruder, but their project is meant specifically for 3D printer filament, while Dave’s extruder is intended for making a sturdy and thicker plastic line with recicled plastic.

You can modify Dave’s extruder and make it into a 3D filament extruder, by drilling an 1.5mm hole for 1.75mm filament, and add extra add-ons like a width sensor, or an auto-winder, it’s all up to you.

The only thing with filament for 3D printers is that it cannot be 100% made with recycled plastic, you need to use 70% virgin resin and 30% recycled plastic, which kind of defies the purpose of the project about recycling plastic waste (PLA and ABS are not really common sources of plastic waste, and HDPE and PET are not good plastic types for filament), but you are free to use Dave’s extruder and modify the original setup to fit your needs