Reasons to Make Your Own 3D Printing Filament


3D printers are a very cool thing to have and they are starting to drop in price which makes them accessible to almost anyone. But despite the fact that the cost of 3D printers has dropped significantly over the last couple of years, you will still need a plastic filament in order to print 3D models. This, of course, adds to the total expense. Since the price for these filaments tends to top the actual material costs, printing is kind of expensive and could become a problem for the development of the ever-growing 3D printer community. That being said, there are many reasons why one should consider making their own filaments instead or buying.

Making your own 3D printing filament can be a cost-saving alternative, as it cuts out expensive purchases. The filament is the spooled plastic material that gets extruded into a 3D object. There is a wide array of options with the PLA plastic being the go-to 3D filament for most printers. That’s because it’s easy to print and it’s the least expensive filament. At this point in time, a typical roll of filament costs at least $15–$ 20 for 1 kg. Special filament famous brands make could cost even more, over $600.

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Also, although in the past, a typical vendor of 3D material would usually offer PLA or ABS, today there are more choices than ever before. Nowadays, a visit to almost any reputable 3D printer filament vendor shows a number of different materials, well beyond PLA and ABS. You can find PC, Nylon, ASA, PEEK, ULTEM, PP and filaments that have been reinforced with glass, brass, fibre and many other substances. The reason for this shift is that professionals that use 3D printing need different materials in order to make 3D objects. And although the choice is wider than before, you still might not be able to find the exact material you plan to use in production. But once you start making your own filament,you can experiment with your own thermoplastic combinations. You can make filaments that no one else has and hopefully make material that can match your requirements without having to commit to a large order.

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Apart from the cost of the 3D printing materials, with all the different manufacturers out there to pick from, choosing the right filament brand can be tricky. Many filaments won’t properly extrude and you could end up with low-quality prints (this usually happens with cheap China made filaments, where there is a lack of quality control). Low-quality filaments may contain voids which are tiny bubbles made during the manufacturing process. These can create pockets of air within the filament that can reduce the quality of the print by leaving voids on the surface. When you are making a filament on your own, you can produce a 3D printing material that’s good enough to use without a lot of frustration.

3d printer filament

Another reason why one should consider the option of making their own printing material is the lack of easy access to a good supply of filaments. This is usually for those users of 3D printing that are settled in more remote areas. Next, busy professionals and industrial users that produce lots of waste in the form of supports, tests, prototypes and failed prints can gain a lot from re-purposing this waste into usable filament. A small home workshop might not produce much waste so it will take a while to build up a batch. While these could face some challenges when home recycling, for busy professionals, recycling their own waste sure makes sense.

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These are the main reasons why many brands among which filabot have developed machines that can turn waste plastic pellets into filament for printing 3D objects. These are easy to use and are meant for anyone from home-users to NASA. In fact, the whole point of the filabot system is to shrink down industrial hardware in order to make it usable on a very small scale. The filabot systems for filament extrusion are a cost-saving alternative for all of your 3D printing needs because as already mentioned, it can cut down expensive purchases and deliver ready-made filament to your own needs. You can produce your own filament in a desktop office environment and you’re not stuck buying pre-made filament from bulk supplies.

3d printer

The set is made from three different components that can be connected in harmony. This system consists of an extruder that allows for enhanced mixing, melting and filament output, an airpath that uses forced convection to cool filament as it is being extruded, and spooler that allows easy rolling of the extruded filament. The whole system is capable of producing filament with diameter tolerances of +/- 0.05mm at up to 4.5kg/hour.