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celso-santos

What do tou think about a printer with an extruder incorporated?

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I think it's a question of filament quality..

If you make your own filament, you'll maybe get it to work, but you'll definetly not get a high quality filament.

You'd have to work in a clean room (or at least a very clean room), with no dirt or dust on the pellets (I guess industrial filament makers clean the pellets right before processing them?...).

Filament quality is a big factor of overall print quality. If you want to maximise print quality, I guess that's a no go...

 

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Jonny

The thing is that injection molding machines already work this way even in dirty environments (no need of clean room) and can produce clean and perfect parts. High quality plastics are already available in pellets, and using them in an FFF machine seems to me the perfect future, because we can get better and more diversified supply of plastics for a cheaper price.

The challenge, in my view, is to be able to incorporate a high quality and small extruder in our FFF machines.

 

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I'm really interested how they solve the problem of having a very heavy extruder head. I don't think you could move it around anymore (or at least not as quickly). I guess you'd have the head in a fixed position and move the table in x,y and z.

The http://3dprintcanalhouse.com/ people use the same idea, however, they're printing at such a large scale that they couldn't possibly use standard filament roles anyway.

 

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I also noticed that it would be to heavy to move it on the head, but a friend of mine always thought that these pallets extruders create a small tube like filament witch is pushed into the head. I told him that its not working this way.

But a day later is ask myself, why not extruding the filament with a big cheap machine, and then the filament runs right through a feeder.

So basically you don't have a spool, since the pallets extruder just extrude as much, as the feeder needs.

It could work, but it will also be big and heavy.

 

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Well, I agree that you wouldn't have to move around a kilogram of pellets, just the amount needed for the part you're printing. But there's still the heavier head due to the turning screw, larger heat element and added motor. Even though the picture in the article is just a generic diagram of a filament extruder, the final design needs to contain these parts.

And how would you do retractions?

There's definitely one very good application of this type of printer and that is for using flexible materials. That just doesn't work so well at the moment. Not surprisingly a lot of the things already printed with their prototype are flexible.

Another thought on the materials: I'm all for enabling people to use a greater variety of materials and I'm thinking of buying my own little filament extruder to experiment BUT I strongly believe that the future of 3D printing doesn't mean using the materials currently used for injection moulding as shown in the video. Instead new materials need to be developed specifically for 3D printing, especially regarding safe processing (fumes!).

Just because you can use pellets doesn't mean you can use any kind of plastic for printing. Someone at Fabcon (either from Perpetual Plastics Project or Techfortrade) talked about trying to set up a PET printing project in Africa only to find that PET has terrible properties for 3D printing and developing a low-tech injection moulding technique instead.

 

 

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