by hlyman, published

LYMAN FILAMENT EXTRUDER by hlyman Sep 17, 2012
2 Share
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Order This Printed View All Apps



Use This Project

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag


Thing Statistics

280423Views 48350Downloads Found in 3D Printer Accessories


The Lyman Filament Extruder is a machine that extrudes filament from pellets for use in a 3D Printer. It can extrude 1.75mm and 3mm filament with easy nozzle exchange. The material cost is about $250.


This filament extruder has been entered in the DESKTOP FACTORY COMPETITION.

The attached PDF file is a Manual which includes Fabrication and Operational instructions, including BOM, tools, photo's and drawings.

See thing #30705 for the Lyman Filament Spool Winder. Click on hlyman for my things.

View video:


More from 3D Printer Accessories

view more

All Apps

3D Print your file with 3D Hubs, the world’s largest online marketplace for 3D printing services.

App Info Launch App

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Print through a distributed network of 3D printing enthusiasts from across the US, at a fraction of the cost of the competitors. We want to change the world for the better through technology, an...

App Info Launch App

Folks, I am not supporting any other Lyman Extruder now except V6 (Lyman Filament Extruder V6). I have three working one for white, one for black and the third for other colors. My last 1 kg spool tested at +/- .03mm. It is vertically mounted and the spool wind system is separate.

Mr. Lyman, please tell me the cost of the extruder (3 mm) version 4 strand, if you are so kind as to send an email to [email protected]; o; [email protected] Thank you.

If my English is not good, sorry, is directly copied from an electronic translator. Thank you.

Mr. Lyman, please tell me the cost of the extruder (3 mm) version 4 strand, if you are so kind as to send an email to [email protected]; o; [email protected] Thank you.

If my English is not good, sorry, is directly copied from an electronic translator. Thank you.

Please email me link for version 4 (3MM) at [email protected] I would like to know if you are selling them or kits if so what would be the cost

What is part # 21? I don't see it listed on the BOM. Great job by the way!

Hellow. I'm from Russia. You filment extruder is very intresting for me. I have read about new version 4. When it will be accessible for buying? What about extrusion speed 3.00/1.75 filament in this version? What does filament extruder v4 cost? Thank You.

V4 Extruder will be published in about two weeks as soon as I can get the docs done. I am working on V5 and will have that also published.

Every version just gets better and better also more 3D printed parts for a more polished look. Please email me link for version 5 at [email protected] I would like to know if you are selling them or kits if so what would be the cost

Version 5 is still in development stage. If it works it will be published near the end of May on Thingiverse. I will not be making extruders for sale. Lulzbot may be but I can't verify that. I have a hard time keeping up with email relies so you will have to check on Thingiverse in the future.

Hi I think you did a great job, at what rate does this machine exrudes filament?
Thanks a lot for your design...

About 8" peer minute. My new version 3 will extrude at 30" per minute.
It is seen on YouTube.

Oh, nice! I'm looking forward to make v3, although here in Mexico is not easy to get all the parts...
Thanks again, you're awesome....

I look forward to building my 'Lyman Extruder', but I do have a couple of simple questions. 1) Do you have a source for blank 1kg spools and 2) Can the extruder handle PLA pellets and, if so, what should be the temp setting for the extruder

I use the used spools I saved from filament purchased over the last several years.

PLA and other plastics can be extruded. I have only extruded ABS so far so I haven't determined the temp for PLA. I would start at about 170 C. My V3 extruder is now extruding at 190 C with ABS.

I must have missed it in the plans... Could someone tell me what size hole to drill to get 3mm filament. I'm getting 1.75mm (1.78mm) with a 1/16th inch hole.

I'd start with a #40 drill .093" diameter and work up

Sounds great! Thanks.

I made a couple of changes to my version that you might be interested in... I've only done one test run so far, for about 1/2 hour, I still need to do some tweaks. But after it heats up, it is putting out around 3+ feet of 1.75mm filament per minute.

This is a list of the more significant changes I made...

  1. Shortened the total length of the 1/2 inch pipe to 11 inches.

  2. Switched the pipe and the entire extruder's orientation from horizontal to vertical.

  3. Removed the hopper and switched to feeding it via a 3/4" stainless steel tube (the tube feeds into the 1/2 inch pipe at a fairly steep angle).

  4. Raised the auger bit out of the heat zone, so it doesn't come near the molten material.

  5. Wrapped the extruder head in the heating element.

The vertical feed (with the smaller number of particles entering the auger threads at the same time) and keeping the auger out of the molten material seems to have cut down on the friction the auger was encountering, So I can get away with powering the auger directly from an old automobile power window motor (no additional gearing or chain drive). I;m using an old 300 watt PC Power Supply to power the power window motor. The auger bit turns around 60 to 90 rpms per minute.

Today, I'm planning on tweaking the cooling fan positions, and experimenting with a couple of spooler ideas.

If after the tweaks it is still generating filament at a decent rate, and the right thicknesses, I will let you know.

I am interested. As I am still working on V3 which has a shorter 1/2"pipe tube and an auger that is 7" long.
Can you send me a picture of your extruder.
hlyman at http://comcast.netcomcast.net

Initial email sent with some links to some preliminary pictures. They are coming from "MySpamTrap" email address. So if you are running a spam filter, you might need to check the spam folder.

What size should the 30 tooth gear be printed at? when I open it is very small and the Makerbot software doesn't ask to convert metric. The 10 tooth opens okay.

Scale it if you can x 25.4.
Or print in inches

thanks, what do you suggest for infill?

Mr Lyman, thanks for providing your ideas for public.

Question: inside the tube, is the melted plastic be in contact with the drill bit?


jog - in reply to jog

ok, but if "the melted plastic is in contact with the auger" then:

--- there will be a great heat transfer drill bit upwards (from tip to shaft of the drill bit) and, in consequence,

--- more and more plastic, drill bit upwards, will glue/stick on it. After cooling and then heating again, it doesn't happen that this plastic glued will rotate (inside the pipe) together with the drill bit and will not be more transported downwards? Hence, will congest the pipe?!
(Please, don't answer just "no, it will not" ;=)


Anyone knows what's the best viscosity of abs filament?? Lower or higher?

how is work going with the third version ?

Version 3 is coming along fine. I hope to finish it in the next few weeks. It may take longer to publish it as it is far more complicated than version 2.

As a preview:

  1. Direct drive gear motors (2)
  2. Water cooling system
  3. Re-sizing die
  4. Puller rollers
  5. Spool winding
  6. Motor encoding to sync motors
  7. Sabertooth motor controller
  8. Spendy
  9. 39" long

The mechanical parts are done and wiring is now in progress.
Hope it works

Sounds Great ;)

Now selling my version of the filament extruded check out my eBay page:

Adam b.
[email protected]

Hello, congratulations for winning, am building your
extruder, and I was wondering what role does the aluminum bars that are laid
under the heating element play? Are they necessary? Can they be replaced with
something else?

Thanks in advance.

The aluminum spacers were used only for 1-1/2" heat band. I am now making Version III and using a 1" heat band without spacers. Version III will have water cooling and spool winding.

thank you very much.

May I have a few questions? From your experience, what is the general reason for air bubble? When you set the temperature to 212 Celsius degree, did the filament run out of the nozzle by its own? And the last one, when I first extruded the filament, the motor run smoothly and I had about 1m good condition filament, but then the motor get stucked, the vicous filament run out with air bubble, what do you think might be the reason?
Thank you.

  1. Maybe your pellets are different than mine were.
  2. Motor stopping could be, a) to fast, b) not hot enough.
  3. Have no idea about the bubbles, as I haven't had that problem.

Congratulations for your win. A very well designed machine. The budget constraints must have made this challenging. I wish that I had a workshop handy to try and make one myself.
Was wondering how frequently the diameter of filament would vary over eg say one meter while you are extruding? Also approximately how fast does the wiper motor rotate?
If it is very stable then it would be not worth this extra effort. Exchanging the voltage regulator for a motor speed controller kit - eg a pulse width modulated one. Shine a light at a point near the extrusion nozzle. Then use a photoresistor on the other side as an input to fine tune the speed controller to push slightly more material if it thins etc. This tweak might be far too simplistic but is less complex than a computer control chip but these DIY kits seem to be around the $20 mark.

Tony3D, thanks for the congrats.
Your idea sounds interesting, but the filament as it comes out of the nozzle is soft and it stretches so the control has to be after it exits. I am working now on the 3rd version with a gear motor plus a water bath and a re-rounding die to control the diameter.

Congratulations! Is anyone selling kits of your extruder yet? I'd very much like to buy one.


Check with Jeff Moe at above Cc email. They are in the process.


About 3/4th of the way done with the build! Question regarding the solid brass nozzle ...on the drawing P09, it looks as if the hole (red dashed lines) is slightly offset from center axis -- is this the case or just how it was drawn? If so is there a dimension for how far off center?

Center is where it was suppose to be drawn, but if it is off it won't matter.

Just a note on the iron nipple- If you order that part from McMaster and it comes from the Los Angeles warehouse it will have a bead inside that is thick enough to keep the auger from fitting. The ones from Atlanta have the seam ground down. I don't know about the other locations.

Can you provide all the specs for the heater band? voltage, amps, exact size ID OD
to use

Yes I found the site, but would like to know the specs or which one you used from the site given .. thanks

If you will read the BOM page 1 of the manual, you'll find it. Part # 12 from Zoro Tools thier part G3026423. The specs are shown their.

Possible sources for purchasing a Filamnet  Extruder check with:
zack at inventables dot com
moe at alephobjects dot com

Is anyone selling/shipping something like this yet? Im sure there would be many people (like myself) that would buy one.

Hi! tell me pls the algoritm of motor speed control? may be you just change voltage supply on it?

and thanks for good job!

Speed is controlled by voltage regulator, see wiring diagram.

Will this work for PLA too? any other plastic?

 I haven't yet used PLA but it should work as well with different temp and speed.


HI Fantastic machine but that "kawasaki auger".. Please explain what it is and where to find it( at first i thougt it was a gear shifter from a motorbike then i found kawasaki soil augers via google and then i suggest it was a wood drill bit ) mayby you get the question before but din't at a quick look find it in the PDF..

it's a auger drill bit. search for it on ebay.

Here's a link to the shredder I'm talking about.

How small do the pellets need to be?  I was looking at using the mini shredder to chop up some failed prints and use them to recycle into filiment.  Would that work with your hopper/auger sizes?

 The pellets I use are fine ABS, about 3.2mm long and 3mm oval dia.

Have Taken on this build and just got one question!
Does the auger bit go all the way up to the end nozzle or stop before the heater band.

 The auger bit stops at the beginning of the heat band.

I have just finished rebuilding my extruder and it is now testing. It uses 1/2" flanges and threaded nipples to eliminate welding.  The hopper base nipple is made with aluminum threaded pipe for easy machining. One other thing I changed was having the auger bit collar up against the shoulder so there is no change of it slipping.
Picture will follow in a day or two

Thank you.
Have done some things different.
I used 12mm aluminium plate for the support legs, I also taped a thread in for the pipes to screw into.
Also used bearings,timing gears and belt.
Just need to make a hopper and wire it up.
not sure if i can post pictures of job in progress or only when completed !

 Your machine looks better than mine.  How much filament have you extruded?

Could water be used to cool the filament? I could see a cheap water fountain at the end.

Some plastic extruders are cooled by water.  You can find a drinking straw extruder example on YouTube.  However, you don't want to cool plastic for a 3d printer in water.  The plastic absorbs water overtime and causes problems with extruding.  So, the goal through the whole life of the filament is to AVOID water and moisture.

 You are welcome to try anything you wish.

Just posted my derivative...

Very nice, thanks for posting your derivative.  Many enhancements and changes can be made as one choices.
When Inventables returns my machine I plan to add your fan cooling enclosure and Ironmans gears.
Remember, I had to keep the material costs below $250 for the DFC competition.
Another change I plan on trying is to use 1/2" black pipe flanges which will eliminate the welding.

 Yea, $250 is a tough target.  I like the flange idea.  My only concern would be if the flange faces are truly perpendicular to the pipe.  I hope you win the contest.  Your design is the only one that I've seen posted online that truly works. 

I suspect the flanges would be fairly perpendicular. At the same time, in some applications it may not matter if they are not perfectly accurate. It might still work just fine. Welding is not known for being the most accurate either! ;)

 You are right. So:
I have redesigned those parts using standard 1/2" black iron nipples and 1/2" floor flanges.

1 ea 3.5" nipple
1 ea 5.5" nipple
3 ea 1/2" floor flange

I got them from:
with a .com

Will be assembling next week.
When the drawings are done I will post them.

why the components are (. stl) all too small?

If the stl files are small that is because they are Imperial Dimensions.  When slicing the stl files scale them by 25.4 if you're using metric dimensions. 

 sorry, i forget "in" and "mm" :)

Brilliant concept application! I just have started to collect the parts for my own extruder. Is there any chance to make a BOM in Metric? just for the guys at the other side of Atlantic ocean :-)

Yes please! For anyone who is not in the USA, Liberia or Burma!

You may want to increase the thermal mass of the hot end such that you can run faster. This would also require more heating elements.

 You may be right, however this would increase the cost factor and I was trying to stay within the $250 mark for the competition.

Thanks for this comment as others may want to do what you suggest.

any chance you're gonna start making these and selling 'em? I'd certainly like to buy one. I have a bucket of failed prints ready for either your or the Filabot recycler when it becomes commercially available. You're a genius! The planet thanks you for coming up with recycling tech :0)

Not me, Jebba is:

http://Lulzbot.comLulzbot.com  (Jeff Moe).

Thanks for your kind words.  I am not the first.  See the references on the front page of the manual.  I just made it simple and lower cost and it works.

Well thanks for bringing it to our attention anyway, I had no idea this was possible. 

Hey, thanks for answering all of these questions. It's a real benefit to the project to not just have your docs posted and to then walk away.

Question on the 1/2" insulator section.  It would appear that you don't have continuous pipe in that section...  Am I reading that correctly?  No small pipe nipple in the insulator section?


Your are right, there is no pipe in the 1/2" insulation section, (part #16}. No metal to metal contact between the nozzle section and the chamber section other than the auger. This keeps the pellet chamber from getting hot. Also that is why I used a phenolic washer (part #51} under the bolt heads to isolate the bolts as much as possible.

The last 6 hour run test had the PID temperature set at 212 degrees C and the chamber temperature measured about 30 degree C.

Further, the hopper (part #26D) is glued to the chamber section with epoxy glue.

 Have you noticed  The insulating material breaking off and contaminating the filament?  The material breaks off fairly easy.

No, I did not noticed any breaking off of the insulation board, however the extruder only has 30+ hours of test running. The board is quite dense and machinable with a fairly smooth finish. I drilled the 5/8" hole with a wood drill bit. With proper alignment the auger rotates freely in the assembly.  I dressed the hole edges smooth before assembly.

McMaster Carr info:

Rigid Calcium Silicate Insulation:

Extra High Temperature Sheets
Maximum Temperature: 1700° FHeat Flow Rate (K-Factor): 0.80 @ 800° FDensity: 40 lbs./cu. ft.Color: White
Can be machined. Meet ASTM E84 0/0 for flame and smoke.
The density looks about the same as wood particle board.

 I got a sheet of the material in the BOM.  It has a powder like texture.  White powder is everywhere in the area that I cut the material!

After continual running, how warm was the pipe on the "cold" side of the insulating material?

I already answered that question 30+/-C.

Where is your vacuum?

It would be amazing if something like this could be integrated directly into a printer so no spooling was involved. You'd have to sync the two hotends and the gears driving both but I'm imagining a future where I can just pour a cup of raw filament into the top of a printer and then start printing with it. If the print fails I regrind it and pour it back in. No waste, color mixing possibilties, low footprint, no complicated spool holders and winding methods. This could be so great!

 That is actually the goal of the Makibot. Looks like they are making good progress too: http://makibox.com/http://makibox.com/

Would love to see some demonstration of your ability to control the diameter to the level of precision that 3D printers require.  Something like a process capability study (Cp/Cpk parameters).

I don't know how to reply to (Cp/Cpk parameters).
All I know is that the diameter is controlled by three variables,
Nozzle diameter, Motor speed and Nozzle temperature. The precision I was able to get was within +/- 0.05mm.

A process capability study is a way to show how well you are able to control the output of a manufacturing process over time.

For example, if you were to make 100 feet of filament with your machine and measure the diameter every foot, you'd get a bell curve distribution of diameter measurements.  Cp tells you how wide your bell curve is.  Cpk tells you how close your average measurement is to your set point.

I extruded hundreds of feet of filament then cut out 10 feet and measured it every 12". See page 10. Sorry that is the limit of my intelligence.

Ok well that's a start :)

What about pre-processing of the plastic?  Did you dry it before extruding it into filament?  I feel like these details are missing from your pdf, and they're important details.

i did not dry the pellets. They came in a sealed sack, I put them in large plastic bottle and used from there. They worked for me.

I just discovered that Page 3 BOM was not sorted correctly in the latest upload of the Manual. Therefore, I have added a pdf file of Page 3 with it corrected.

Part #51 is a small phenolic washer I made as a heat bearer from the bolt part #13 to the hopper chamber part #14.  Thus, the hopper chamber part #14 stays cool enough to touch and the pellets don't get warm and clog up in the hopper.

Is part #51 for expansion and contraction?

Do you think this design would work for printed parts that you ground up into dust?

I would think so as I have plenty if rejects.
If you have a grinder that can make the dust let me know.
I am now designing a grinder myself.

This is fantastic! Are you planning on marketing this product?

Not me.

Read the comments and you’ll see who is going to market it. "jebba"

Great machine here. What kind of feedstock have you tried extruding? I mean, can you cut up and recycle ABS products or is this for virgin ABS pellets or pastilles only?

I have only used fine ABS pellets as on now.  It should extrude different plastics.  I am now designing a grinder to reclaim other plastics and rejects from my 3D Printer.

Comment removed due to moment of stupidity

I believe it is obvious why I built this machine. To extrude filament for my 3D printer and save a lot of money.  Also it is entered is The Desktop Factory Competition. I used chain and sprockets over gears as it was easier to build. I did print some gears to use but time was a factor for the Competition.
Further the chain and sprockets are less critical in alignment of the motor to the extruder assembly.  The wiper motor has a very short shaft and the sprocket attachment over a gear attachment was less complicated. 

Ah, the penny finally dropped - you are making the filament itself from pellets instead of purchasing premade filament.... Nice work.

 Uhhhh the "penny" was "dropped" in the very title of this thing.

Um, most 3d printers extrude filament. But fair point, not my smartest moment.

It says filament extruder. That means it is a extruder that produces filament.

I'm wondering if you can extrude threaded filaments.
Could be useful for a lighter printer  injection head, something like a rotating bolt pulling the filament

You will have to explain what you mean in more detail for me to understand what you are driving at.

 He's making an analogy to a lead screw and nut.  Imagine that you spin the nut, and the leadscrew is the filament.  I don't see how this really helps, because a) you'd have to spin your roll of filament to keep it from snapping, and b) even if you could do this, you have to force the filament through the nozzle, and I imagine that it'll have just as many problems, if not more than the standard toothed gear / wheel design.

Wow, very cool :)

Perhaps an overly complex RepRap could be made with a machine like this built directly into it, and you simply feed the printer trash plastic and it makes useful things ;)

I have read of this idea before, however, I have enough trouble keeping my 3D print tweaked without adding another problem to it.


The LYMAN FILAMENT  FABRICATION and OPERATIONAL MANUAL BOM has been updated with corrections to Part #'s 18, 33 & 40 and spelling of DESCRIPTION.  These changes are highlighted with a bold border on Page 1.

Great work Hugh and thanks for sharing your inventions!  :)

There are also pellets at http://3dprinterstuff.comhttp://3dprinterstuff.com, but we haven't tried them.

One small typo correction on the BOM. The URL is http://monsterguts.commonsterguts.com
(plural) not singular (part #33). Looks like quite a fun vendor.  :)

There are three Ventura chains at WalMart. I ordered the 112 link one, WalMart part 301125 (part #25).

http://Bumperspecialties.comBumperspecialties.com sells the BS-15 in sheets as well, but it isn't
readily apparent from their site which links to a huge box of them. A
sheet of them is available here:


We are building a couple of these, then we hope to add them to our
store. Our contract manufacturer suggested doing it with gears instead
of chain for safety, so we may make some changes after we first build
your version. We'll have a better idea when and how much once we have
one working. We are uploading our files and docs here, as we progress
(early & often!):


-Jeff Moe

Just design a chain guard similar to a children's bike has. That will solve your safety issue.

Thanks Jeff,

I will correct the BOM and re-upload it.

I forgot about the gears. I printed a set from Thingiverse and was going to use them, however, because the assemblies mount to a 1/2" MDF board, alignment would be more difficult
for me and the chain can be a little off. The large sprocket turns less than 1 rpm. I designed the sprocket tooth from "Machinery's Handbook edition 23" and I had to dress the teeth with a dremel. The 112 link chain is what I used, 1/2".

More dangerous than the sprockets is the hot end. After the machine is run and full of plastic the hot end should be hot to change the nozzle.  I slipped and got a nasty burn on the palm of my hand. That is why I put dymo caution labels all over it, High Voltage, Auger, Hot End and Sprockets.

I must have made a dozen different failed nozzles, till I remembered my motto "Engineered Simplicity is today answer to tomorrows maintenance" and just drilled a hole in a brass plug and it worked great.

Thanks for your Bumper link. I think the sheet has 128 bumpers on it. I glued mine on with CA glue.



FYI: Jeff Moe of Aleph Objects, Inc ([email protected]) is making two extruders at this time and I understand that he is planning on adding kits to his website, http://www.lulzbot.comwww.lulzbot.com. No timeline yet.

Looking nice :)

How fast does it extrude - IE length per second/minute/whatever?

The hopper doesn't look huge, and thus I was wondering how frequently you might have to top it up?  

Maybe that amount of pellet actually makes a lot of filament and the size is fine?

I extruded 1.75mm filament at about 8” per minute. The speed is variable.
The Hopper holds several hours of filament, however if you go to page 12 of the manual you will see the optional 3” shipping tube extension which will hold more pellets.

Could you drill multiple holes into the brass plug nozzle to extrude multiple filaments at once? Set screws drilled into the brass plug at 90 degree angles to the filament holes could stop the extra filaments when they are not wanted.

I am guessing each filament may need individual separation and support, but this could cut down on extrusion time.

I really like your project.

You probably could drill 4 holes in the brass plug Part #10 and it should work, except that would be a mess to separate. Two holes may work.  Nice thought. It will only cost about $3.00 to try it.

So running the numbers then, it would take about 32hours to make 1kg of filament, would you say that's correct?  I guess thats not unreasonable given how long it might take to to then use that entire spool in your printer.  I only really question the longevity of the printed sprockets, everything else looks good.  Good luck with the DFC, it looks like a winner but is it the first, hopefully inventables can actually bring something to market with this. 

I ran the extruder two full days and filled a 1kg spool by hand winding. I remember once I ran it at 11” per minute but that could have been the 3mm I extruded. However, I think you are close to correct in the timing. The total run time on the extruder was about 36 hours before shipping to Inventables.
As for the sprockets, I can’t say how long they will last, so make new ones, or pay for bicycle sprockets. I had to meet a price for the Competition. Also for more bucks use a gear motor. I did brush a light coat of axle grease on the sprockets

Of course, reading the specs and note below the first picture which reads "Extruding at 8 inches per minute" might help.

For the voltage regulator, you may find this one better:
It costs half as much and lacks a voltage display.  IMO, I voltage reading seems unneeded.  Once you have it set to your application, you're done.

Thanks, however as the extruder motor speed may want to be changed for different types and diameters of plastic filament.
As best as I can remember I ran 3mm ABS faster than the 1.75mm. I will check it again when I get my machine back.

 Sure, but you don't need to know what voltage the motor is running at to adjust the speed.  You just need adjust the pot to make it change speed. 

 Ok your right, but I want to record what voltage I used so I a can quickly repeat it or each plastic.

I checked them out and find that their price is double what I paid for ABS pellets and they offer only one color, natural.

Thank you for the link and we are trying to find a better source of PLA. As we get more established we will be able to offer more colors and lower the prices. But as it is right now supplies are expensive and lack color. PLA just does not have the infrastructure that say ABS does. I can get ABS pellets is any custom color is small enough volume that i don't need to buy large volumes. 

My prototype is sitting on my shelf for a year already. Where I stuck is the colorisation of the granules. And I think its a requirement by Desktop Factory Competition. So I never bothered to finish it, also pricewise it costed 3x more then yours.

So hat off to you sir!


If color is required I missed that. However, all it takes is to mix a colored pellet to natural or white and you should have it.

Your designs may be of value to us all.

To all,

The BOM shows a 1/4-20 x 2" bolt part #18. This is what I had on hand, and my BOM had to match the machine in the competition, however a 1/4-20 x 2-1/4" bolt is what should be used.


I might suggest to all wanting to make this devise that as Inventables is validating this device it may be wise to wait before building one to see what errors in my documents they discover in their making one. I hope none as the 40K will sure help an old retired guy. 

As this invention was done in a hurry to meet the Desktop Factory Competition I am sure there are some better ways and ideas to improve this device. Please share these with us all.

However, this machine works.  I can't wait to get it back for my use.

I wish you the best of luck! I am a bit concerned that the filament consistency won't meet their contest guidelines; I remember reading that it had to be +/1 0.01mm... I hope I am wrong!

 The contest requires a consistency of 0.05mm +/-.
Also I use 3mm in my printer and that which I have purchase online varies that much or more.  Once I get the Spool winder working with the Extruder I hope to get closer consistency.

I wonder if the filament was re-extruded though a regular hot end with a 1.75mm nozzle would the filament be a more consistent diameter?

 I don't know, but I would believe so.

I'm sourcing the parts needed to make a version of this...  For the Kawasaki 5/8" drill bit.  I see you cut it down to 13" in total.  Which length drill bit did you cut down?  The 18" version?  I don't know if Kawasaki advertises the entire length or just the "usable length".

The Kawasaki auger bit I use is the 18" and I cut off the drill point so the total length was 13".  Price was $8.00.  

Please kept your questions coming as it will help all who wish to make this devise, and it will make it better.

The need to add a "LOVE IT!" button! ;)

Can you describe the ability of the machine as far as filament width consistancy, and any issues with air in the extruded product. 

This is great work by the way, I think i may have to start putting one together. 

 The width consistency is good if it is not disturb as it exits the nozzle. That is why the setup lets the filament fall to the floor. I hope the Lyman Filament Spool Winder will solve this.  Three variables also affect the width (diameter): Nozzle hole, Temperature and Speed of the motor.  All can be adjusted.  The nozzle is drilled with a 0.063" #52 drill bit.  My first run was extruding at 1.60mm, so I reamed the hole with the same bit again and then I got 1.70mm+ diameter.

 I have no idea of issues with air in the filament. As my DIY 3D Printer uses 3mm filament, I extruded 3mm and that is what I printed the 10 tooth sprocket with, as shown in the video. No problem. I also printed the "Stretchlet"

Excellent.  This will definitely be my next build.  Have you found a source for colored ABS pellets?

 I think the source mention previously has a red color.  I have not found another source. I am waiting for a source for PLA colored pellets.

I found the width consistancy within the PDF. 

The scale is off by 10? on the stl's. tiny. 

I don't understand what you mean  "stl's. tiny."

My stl files slice correctly in SLIC3R.


 Thanks kenwshmt,
I will get it corrected shortly

Will this extruder work with PLA?


I have just finished uploading the Lyman Filament Spool Winder, thing # 30705.

Yes, the filament extruder will extrude PLA and other plastics. The temperature and speed will have to be adjusted for each type of plastic pellets. I have not extruded PLA yet as I have not found a good source for PLA pellets.  If anyone knows of a good source for fine PLA in 10 lb quantity please post it.  The fine ABS pellets I use are about 2.5mm, whereas the course ABS pellets are about 3.5mm. I have tried both and the course pellets did not auger good enough.


You are correct on the voltage equations. I just happened to find a voltage regulator on eBay with LED I liked for $9.99 and they just happened to be 24V in, variable out and the 24V power supply ($23.99) was cheaper than the 12V power supply I had on hand. And, my target was to create a machine for less than $250 and I was running out of time for submission to Desktop Factory Competition. When I get my machine back I am going to measure the amps the motor is pulling and if low enough I will revise the wiring diagram with the 110V direct to the PID and power the voltage regulator with a $5.00 DC adapter, as that is how I am powering my Spool Windup Machine, which is running great. Besides, as I am not smart enough to do the calculations I use trial and error which has worked for my 7 patents.

Folks, thanks for your comments and suggestions.

Question: Why use a 24V power supply for the fan and motor? It's a 12 volt motor that your dropping the voltage down further before feeding it. The fans are available in all voltages. Was that something you just had on hand, or is there something more that I'm missing?

Wow! This blows past all others that i've seen online. Great Work!

One would need to extrude around 14 lbs of filament to break even (given cheap pellets and expensive mbot filament). But that doesn't include recycling, which can be significant; my endlessly tuned tom is still rather unreliable and wastes 10% or more. As far as diameter consistency, I don't see this as an issue with the filament so much as an issue with the printers--future generations should continuously sense incoming filament diameter and automatically adjust the extrusion rate accordingly. Regardless, this is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

I like it! Way lower cost, custom coloring, future proof to changes in filament diameter and DIY.

Price wise, I have seen pellets of ABS sold for as low as fifty cents a pound (when you buy several hundred pounds) and about $5/pound in smaller 5 to 50 lbs batches. Either of those prices would be way cheaper then purchasing the 2 pound spools.

Here's another source for ABS pellets (I have no

ABS pellets I used cost $15 for 4 lbs. I have extruded about 6 lbs. Here is where I got them on eBay:


Excellent work. Your pdf documentation is impecdable (especially the parts sourcing info and cad renderings). How much cheaper is it to use ABS pellets rather than buying filament online?