Hello, dear readers and homemade products!
Owners of 3D printers sometimes wonder if it is possible to make a plastic filament (a rod for printing) on their own. At the same time, options for processing unsuccessful models and printing waste are more often offered.
Is it possible to make filament from garbage, for example, PET bottles?
In this article, the author of the YouTube channel “Brother” will tell you how to make a filament from PET bottles using a simple 3D printer alteration.
This method is very simple, but it does not claim to be used permanently, and is considered as an experimental technique for making your own filament.
The authors of the article and video are not responsible for any possible risks, damage and breakdowns of your 3D printer. You can use this technology at your own peril and risk.
Materials required for homemade products.
– Plastic bottles (large).
Tools used by the author.
– Bottle cutter
– 3D printer
– Digital caliper
– Pliers, nippers, scissors.
The manufacturing technology of such a rod is very simple, and a similar method has already been described in one of the articles on that website. The essence lies in the rapid local heating of the PET tape obtained from the bottles and pulling it through a narrow opening. However, this method is very cumbersome and does not allow automating the process, most of which has to be done manually. It is also questionable how to obtain at least some exact and stable diameter of the “bar”.
In this experiment, the author uses a very simple 3D printer , on which a homemade “direct” extruder is installed – the bar feed system is combined with hotend. In normal operation, the bar is pushed by gears towards the nozzle, where it melts and extrudes.
Also, the bar feed system (feeder) can work in the opposite direction. This is necessary, for example, when replacing a filament. This idea was taken as the basis of the technology.
Plastic bottles with a capacity of 1.5-2 liters will serve as a starting material. It is preferable to choose bottles without embossing, with a flat surface.
First of all, you need to remove labels, traces of glue, and rinse the container with warm water.
Next, using a knife or scissors, you need to cut off the bottom and neck of the bottle, leaving a flat cylindrical middle part.
Now the bottle cutter comes into play. Using this simple device, the author cuts blanks into strips 10 mm wide.
The thickness of the bottle walls may differ, and if you increase it, you need to slightly reduce the width of the tape.
Approximately, from two-liter bottles, about 6 meters of tape 10 mm wide is obtained.
Before further processing, the resulting tapes should be dried at a temperature of about 60 degrees for 2 hours. This can be done in an electric oven with the appropriate mode, or a vegetable dryer .
As already mentioned, some bottles had thick walls, and the tape was prudently cut to a width of 9 mm.
At one end of the tape, you need to make a narrowing 2 mm wide and about 10 cm long. This is necessary so that it can be pulled through the hot end, throat, and mechanism (gears) of the feeder.
Unscrew the nozzle from the heating block (after heating it up to 170-180 degrees).
For convenience, the author has wound the tape on a spool. He put a wrench on it to flatten the tape and lightly tension it.
The end of the tape is fed through a non-hot heating block and clamped in the feed mechanism.
Now you need to turn on the heating of the hot end. Here different authors recommend different temperatures (from 210 to 245 degrees). This parameter, as well as the speed of pulling the “rod”, should be selected experimentally.
After waiting for the temperature to rise, the reverse filament feed is switched on in the printer menu.
As a result, the tape is gradually tightened through the hole in the heating block, and rolls up into a tight “roll”. This, of course, is not a full-fledged factory bar, but a very close resemblance to it.
It is difficult to talk about professional printing with such a filament, because the maximum length of a bar even from a large bottle will be no more than a couple of tens of meters, and large parts will not work out of it. Also, the diameter of the bar will inevitably fluctuate, which will negatively affect the print quality.
homemade filament, so the technology is quite working.
If you are satisfied with this technology, then you can build a small machine using only a feeder with a hot-end and a control board instead of a whole printer (when modernizing printers, they are often replaced with more advanced ones, and the old ones are sent “to the shelf”). Thanks to the author for a very simple technology of obtaining a “bar” for 3D printing.
Good mood, good health, and interesting ideas to everyone!
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The author's video can be viewed here.
Hello, dear readers and homemade products!