Today on Adafruit’s weekly live 3D Hangouts, we will be sharing a guide and video featuring DIY 3D printing filament and print recycling. Here’s a quick roundup of other DIY 3D Filament stories that caught our interest to whet your appetite!
While still a PhD graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Florida, Filastruder founder Tim Elmore arrived on the filament extrusion scene relatively late (in 2013). Taking an opportunity to study the previous projects such as Filabot, Lyman’s Filament Extruder, Recyclebot and others, he decided to create his own version that refined and optimized the previously available kits. That and reach a lower price point (under $200). Filastruder has now delivered all of the crowdfunding kits, so now they have an online store to accept orders from new customers.
Here’s a brief review of the Filastruder from MAKE. And read below for an excerpt of an interview HackThings did with Tim Elmore – Filastruder Makes 3D Printing Even Cheaper, from Hack Things:
Filastruder ran a successful Kickstarter campaign last month, ultimately raising over $200,000 for a product that produces inexpensive material for 3D printers. The filament used by most 3D printers is pricey, running upwards of $20 a pound. That’s a pretty serious disincentive to experimentation, especially for larger parts. But raw ABS plastic is available for just $4 a pound even in small quantities, and that’s what Filastruder uses to make filament.
Filastruder undermines the “give away the razor, sell the blades” model that 3D printer manufacturers might otherwise employ. As 3D printers get cheaper and cheaper manufacturers will look for other ways to shore up profits. For example, the proprietary cartridge for the Cube costs almost $50 a pound, and Stratasys charges around $100 a pound for plastic for their industrial 3D printers. Filastruder reminds us that the raw material here is actually cheap and common. This may perversely encourage 3D printer manufacturers to use more esoteric materials to preserve the business model….
HT: How do you think cheap filament will change how people use their 3D printers? Do you have any anecdotes showing this with the Filastruders already in use?
Filastruder: I think cheap filament will let people print and experiment more. Some of our beta testers have already produced enough filament for the FIlastruder to have paid for itself. Additionally, I think we’ll see the Filastruder bring about many new interesting materials to experiment with. I’ve been working with turning nylon powder into filament, for example….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!