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Free Filament here's how!

by Lucan07, published

Free Filament here's how! by Lucan07 Nov 25, 2015
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With most of us throwing away PET in the form of Plastic Bottles it could be simple to use them in your printer. Unfortunately I do not have enough hours in the day but one or more of you may like to try this out. Its a concept an idea that would solve the problems of irregularities caused when using flaked or shredded PET through an Auger setup caused by irregularities of size air gaps and speed of feed, this method converting flat or square input to round is theoretically simpler.

Step one: Turn the bottle into PET string as demonstrated by this guy.
Instructions here:

A printed version lifted from the comments thanks faggahz, I am sure most of this project exists in one form or another if it can be put together.

Step two: A print head that can be fed by flat string extruding filament in 1.75 or 3mm format, it should be easy enough to overlap short sections to produce continuous filament. Also feeding in short lengths of filament left on reels to prevent waste or create multi color filament would be possible using same method.

Step three: Link step one and two so that the motor feeding the extruder provides the power to strip the bottles a little work preparing and loading the bottles one after the other but free filament and recycling at its best.

Let us know if you try this I will get A Round TUIT sometime but work interferes with play to much at the moment so

Calibration 2020.stl as would not let me publish without a download

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I have seen a string feed extruding like filament producing crude filament. Printing with PET temperature is critical, when feeding chips they need to be extremely fine which is why I considered the string fed like a filament a better bet, by the time your heat is getting to half of your PET the first half has burnt.

I also have seen (and can't remember where) someone pushing by hand a pet string folded in two along its length through a j-end-like extruder, and it did produce some soft of filament, but extruding the raw string obtained from bottles has downsides that surpass the convenience of not having to extrude a proper filament with PET flakes, namely you have to design a specific pushing mechanism, you have to rely on a string that has variable shape and thickness, and find a way to reliably join together different strings from different bottles, and even there, different bottles have different thickness, so the volume you push inside wouldn't be constant.

u better have a nice heat sink for 260, and a nice fan on that heatsink ...
no beginner cheapi setups will last long with this ...

Someone want to design one of these string-makers for 3D printing?

The string maker will need to be fairly substantial and solidly built from a minimum of Ali preferably Steel would need to be a substantial print to take the torque involved in stripping bottles.

Video shows how to make a plastic wire, but doesn't show how to print with. Did you have tested???
My tests are this:
cutted flakes (PET-bottles) in a filament making extruder (worm based, 3mm nozzle) makes a very irregular 'filament', cannot be used in a printer. Some centimeters later process stopped. Tests at different temperatures: 180°, 200°,220°,240°.
Bottle threats (like the shown thread) in a printer will not melt (180° .. 240°).
I have tested with different fruit juice bottles. My bottles had 3 layers of plastic, so each layer was been very thin.
I'm highly interested in real experiments and experiences in this idea.

I am currently in the process of making a filament extrudet myself, but just a hint on your experiment. Keep in mind that PET has a melting point of ~260°. The irregular diameter might be caused by that the plastic is not all the way melted, and therefor some parts cool faster than others :-) So maby try a higher temp than 260°. This is all from reading btw, i have no experience but i thought i might share my opinion :-)

I did think temp was low but was unsure, did look it up and 260c is correct

Its a different way the worm to process flakes could be swapped for a drive to feed string far simpler its an idea put out there to consider. Filament extruder's do work there are many out there my idea is to simply change feed and raw product to something simpler easier to achieve.