Tag Archives: 3D printer extruder

Building a homemade filament extruder


Maker creates a DIY extruder using common parts that can be found on any workbench. 


What’s a 3D printer without filament, right? In an effort to reduce the costs typically associated with purchasing new materials, Dinçer Hepgüler recently decided to devise his own homemade extruder using parts that were readily available throughout his workshed.

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In order to bring his DIY Filastruder to life, the Maker employed a metal body that contains the screw mechanism to extrude the substrate, two cartridge heaters, a 100k thermistor, a IRLZ44 MOSFET, an optional 16×2 LCD and any Atmel based Arduino. The device was driven by a powerful stepper motor, however Borsaci notes that even a household drill can drive the system for few hours.

To help ease the process, Borsaci created a CAD model detailing the parts that are required to construct the Filastruder. How it works is relatively simple: The plastic pellets go into a feeding cone that loads them into the heating element that melts the plastic. The stepper motor rotates a screw-shaped barrel, which in turn, forces the melted plastic out to the extruder nozzle forming the new filament.

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“The radius of output filament can be monitored by a sensor for accuracy, but I do not think I will need that as long as the shaft is driven at constant speed. As for the heating control, I decided to use the same ceramic 12v heaters and 100k thermistors used in RepRap printer extruders (actually there will be more than one on the front end around nozzle),” Borsaci notes.

Interested? Head over to the project’s official Instructables page to learn more.

Ben Heck’s glue gun has Atmel under the hood

It’s probably safe to say that most Makers have experienced bad glue gun days. You know, the kind of day that start off nicely enough, only to be ruined by incessant dripping all over the workbench and basement floor. Some of us have even muttered “I bet this doesn’t happen to Ben Heck” under our collective breaths.

As it turns out, master modder Ben Heck probably hasn’t suffered from a bad glue gun day since designing an innovative device that HackADay’s Brian Benchoff describes as “more like an extruder from a 3D printer” than your typical dispenser.

“By far, the most difficult part of this project was the glue stick extruder. For this, Ben used a DC motor with a two-stage planetary gear system,” Benchoff explained.

“This drives a homemade hobbed bolt, just like the extruder in 99% of 3D printers. The glue stick is wedged up against the hobbed bolt with a few 3D printed parts and a spring making for a very compact glue stick extruder.”

On the electronics side, Ben included an Atmel-based AVR board, a thermistor attached to the hot end of the glue gun, a solid state relay for the heater and analog controls for speed /temperature settings.

“The finished product is actually pretty nice. It lays down consistent beads of hot glue and thanks to a little bit of motor retraction won’t drip,” Benchoff added.

We couldn’t agree more!