It is common for some of our prints to end up in the trash. Sometimes the nozzle gets saturated, the filament runs out in the middle of printing, we have not included enough support structures…. With a filament extruder we can manufacture our own filament at home from pellets or reusing faulty prints. In this article we will talk about two commercial products with antagonistic prices.
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Features of the Next 1.0 Filament Extruder
With Next 1.0 we will be able to recycle our failed objects or those that no longer have usefulness and make new filament. Nails on measures 506x216x540 This machine introduced in 2015 is capable of extruding almost a kilo of filament per hour. For this it feeds on small pieces of reused material no larger than 3mm or failing that Pellets. Heat these pieces until reaching the necessary temperature to melt them and to be able to create our own filament. The parts that suffer from the abrasion of the cast material are made of hardened steel to ensure that we can create miles of filament before having to go through the repair shop. Can extrude with a diameter of 1.75 mm and with a margin of 43 micron variation. Thus ensuring that we will not have clogs in the nozzle of our printers due to irregularities in the filament.
La maximum temperature who works are 450ºC so we can create filaments of any material that melts at a lower temperature. Among the best known are ABS, PLA, nylon, polycarbonate, Ninjaflex….
We can connect to it through a USB port if we want, but it really is able to work in a totally autonomous way.
Price and profitability.
The price of the simplest version of this extruder is almost € 5000. It's great to be able to make our own filament, but is such an investment really worth it? We are going to estimate that the medium quality coil costs 25, we would have to extrude approximately 200 spools of filament before amortizing the machine. As the machine comes with 5 kilos of material, we will not consider any additional purchase in the first impressions, but as we reuse the material over and over again. It's hard that a maker that prints at home reaches make it profitable. But you must feel great making your own filament.
Characteristics of the Filaestruder self-assembly extruder.
Looking around a bit we have found a low cost alternative presented this 2016. We refer to filaestruder self-assembly kit. The first thing to note is that we are talking about a self-assembly kit, so we will have to invest many hours to have the operational team.
This extruder is slower, barely able to extrude a kilo of filament in 5 hours. It has margins of tolerance of almost 200 microns. And it only reaches one working temperature of 260ºC, although it is sufficient for the manufacture of filaments of many materials.
Price and profitability
By just 300€ we will have a team capable of extruding filament. Of course, the benefits are not the same as the previous model. But to many the quality / price ratio it will be more than acceptable.
Are we going to start making our own filament at home?
In the first case we have a team with a high cost and in the second we have a team to which we have to invest many hours to be able to make use of it. In neither case do I consider myself the target audience to which the companies that market these products focus.
However, you may be tempted. You may see it as another step towards self-sufficiency. In any case, it is very interesting that some manufacturers feel attracted to commercialize products of these characteristics.