Which materials can FilaFab extrude?
We have successfully extruded ABS, PLA, HDPE, EVA, nylon, woodfilled PLA, polystyrene and more. Our Pro 350 EX is recommended if you are looking to extrude more than ABS or PLA.
Although possible, we usually advise against extruding with PET as it is a complex polymer. However given the abundance of PET used today we certainly hope to further explore PET extrusion at some point, or at least release a video showing our experience with it. This is someway off however.
What is the hopper capacity?
The hopper will hold approx 350g of pellets (weight based on ABS).
What material to use?
Using pre-bought virgin or recycled pellets/granules is the most straight forward method, colourants can also be added to produce the colour you want. Pellets can be purchased from several companies depending on your location and quantity requirements. We can give you contact details for supplier in the UK. We will also be supplying pellets through our web shop in due course. We do have a limited supply available and could include some ABS pellets with a machine if this helps you get started.
Alternatively you can create your own pellets/shreds with a suitable machine (see below).
What size do the granules need to be?
Pellets or granules are the best option but powders and “shreds” work too, generally if you can feed the material into the hopper, through the 8mm guard holes and into the auger screw, it should work. Pellets and granules work particularly well since they tend to ‘self-feed’ very well whereas powders sometimes need some agitating to provide a constant feed to the auger.
If you have only a very small amount of material available one option is to unscrew the nozzle adapter and load the material directly into the extrusion head, you can then use another material (for example ABS pellets) to do the rest of the work – i.e. the ABS will melt and feed up to the nozzle at which point it will extrude your material first. This method is used by a number of our clients and has been shown to be very effective.
How to shred old prints to recycle them?
We do not have our own shredder available since there are a lot of machines available already, we have tried using desktop paper shredders, hand powered shredders and others. The type of shredder/pelletiser you use will vary depending on the raw material. Suitable shredders can often be bought on the second hand market as well.
What is the tolerance of the filament?
We see excellent tolerances. Accuracy varies between materials, speed, temperature etc. Each material will require different handling after extrusion. You can achieve excellent roundness and tolerances of better than +/-0.02mm.