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Extruding your own filament

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Hi,

is there a good possibility to recycle my test prints?

There are some successfully founded machines on kickstarter to extrude your own filament.

Someone here have tested one of these?

I'm a little bit skeptical about the tolerances of the resulting filament.

The option to extrude filament out of much cheaper pellets seems nice. To recycle my failed prints or the ones for testing would be a big advantage, too.

Maybe it's a little bit problematic to shredder the old objects without heating them up to much. (Will it blend? ;) )

Some of the founded extruders on kickstarter:

filastruder - I like the video :) :

 

ExtrusionBot (impressive extrusion speed) :

 

Filabot (has a simple shredder, IMHO to weak for objects) :

Two others are Filafab and STRUdittle:

 

 

Is there one I can buy already?

What do you think about producing your own filament?

 

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As you realised the extrusion of the filament is not the problem. Rather problematic is the cleanliness of the raw material. If you shredder your prints and produce new filament from this granulate you incorporate a lot of dirt which makes the filament bad.

In professional plastic manufacturing, pieces are shredded, washed and then admixted to new material.

 

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If the objects are clean, than there should be not that much dirt. I would maybe shredder them with a blender by Blendtec ( https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=will+it+blend

)

And mixing it up with new PLA pellets (only 10% of the price of filament) should be no problem, too.

I'm not that afraid about a little bit of dirt in the filament. After printing with woodfill, I think that particles in the filament are not that problematic with a 0.4mm nozzle. IMHO it could be more problematic with a smaller nozzle.

(EDIT: lost a part by inserting the link)

 

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These guys in the UK are about to launch a kickstarter campaign this month, not to much info about it, there site says you can extrude at 1.75 and 3mm so i contacted them and asked if they will be doing a 2.85mm at launch and they said they will be doing all three sizes...

http://omnidynamics.co.uk/

http://3dprintingindustry.com/2014/05/01/3d-printing-filament-extruder-strooder/

 

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About bigger dirt particles:

The Filastruder has a "Melt filter", a 250 micron wire mesh filter.

I have tested this final revision for over 100 hours of extrusion, with no measurable decline in output rate.

Because the local velocity of the polymer at the screen pack is so low, output rate is not diminished until the filter is nearly full of contaminants.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/833191773/filastruder-a-robust-inexpensive-filament-extruder/posts/595647

Sounds good.

Some nice testimonials:

http://www.filastruder.com/pages/testimonials

hmm ... $300 for the filastruder kit.

http://www.filastruder.com/products/filastruder-kit

But they have only a 3.0mm nozzle, with +/- 0.1mm. That would be to thick for UM2. :(

A few beta testers have set the FIlastruder up for 3.0mm filament, and report variances of about +/-0.10mm.

That's bad. :(

 

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Tim here, from Filastruder.

With the melt filter, dirt and other contaminants are not a concern.

The nozzles I provide are closer to 2.9mm output, depending on extrusion temperature. If you need a slightly smaller diameter, you can up the temperature. If you are really worried about hitting 2.8mm, you could buy a 1.75mm nozzle and drill it out in increments, or email me through the FIlastruder website and I'll custom drill a nozzle for you.

Happy printing!

 

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Tim here, from Filastruder.

 

Hi Tim,

thank you for your posting.

- Do you have tested to recycle printed objects (PLA)?

- A diameter of 2.9mm sounds good. The Ultimaker 2 will need filament smaller than 3mm.

2.85mm +/- 0.1mm would be perfect.

 

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For recycling I wouldn't argue only with the price of raw material. IMHO it could be cheaper to recycle the material. With 3D printing you get a lot of waste (test objects, support material, failed prints ...). The wasted material is clean and in high quality.

One advantage of additive manufacturing is, that there shouldn't be that huge amount of wasted material.

I'm astounded how much wasted material my printer is producing. It annoyes me to dump that material.

As a producer of an extruder, I would argue with the advantages of recycling printed objects. But there has to be a tested workflow for this.

 

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Personally, unless you are using multiple printers running a business, I don't think it's worth it.

I have bought rolls of filament for $20 per roll with almost perfect sizing throughout. Sometimes you get a section that is deformed, but to me, it's totally acceptable for the price it's purchased at.

After buying the plastic extruder, pellets, cleaning up shavings from old prints, time spent extruding plastic, time spent rolling up plastic that has been extruded, and shipping costs, I would rather just buy a $20 roll that can be loaded into my 3D printer. (TIME IS MONEY)

The only other reason I would think about buying one of these plastic extruders is to recycle all of my mess up prints or old parts.

 

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We all wouldn't use printers melting plastics if we were thinking about the environment in the first place Skint.

From my experience so far, there has not been enough wasted material to recycle to even make a difference.

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We all wouldn't use printers melting plastics if we were thinking about the environment in the first place Skint.

 

Curious statement, interested to hear your (...lack?) of reasoning behind it. PLA is a bioplastic, PET is one of the most highly recyclable polymers available, ABS is decent for recycling, and any thermoplastic is inherently very efficient to recycle compared to natural products (and probably some alloyed metals). Add in the relatively low waste of additive vs. subtractive manufacturing and I'm not sure where your sentiment gets any merit. If you're worried about extruding plastic causing environmentally harmful fumes, I think it's fairly likely that the delivery truck your printer arrived in produced more of those fumes on the single trip to your door than your printer will produce in a lifetime... if it does produce any at all.

 

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@Nick Foley

I should have clearly stated that ABS is not as environmentally friendly. It is not biodegradable like PLA. That is all the reasoning I need to make the statement above.

Maybe I should change that remark to "people using ABS only".

I am big on recycling no matter what the material might be. All of my cardboard, plastics, refrigerants, food leftovers, water, etc...all gets recycled. So don't get misdirected by one's opinion to try and add to a topic with advice. My intent is only to show my point of view. I'm sorry if you don't agree.

As stated above, the little bit of plastic since December that I have laying around only equates to maybe 1 pound of waste. I'm sure everyone has a different amount depending on how often they make use of their printers.

 

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