Tag Archives: Filament Extruder

Turn your old soda bottles into 3D printer filament with ProtoCycler

3D printing can now be sustainable and affordable.

As if 3D printing isn’t revolutionary enough, Canadian startup ReDeTec has devised a filament extruder that uses plastic waste. A spool of 3D printing filament in one color costs around $30-$50; but if you already recycle your own plastic, your spools are free with ProtoCycler.


The team – Dennon Oosterman, Alex Kay and David Joyce – recognizes that simplicity, reliability, performance and hackability are important to Makers and tinkerers. So much so, ProtoCycler allows anyone to create whatever they want without worrying about the cost or the environment. This easy-to-use machine takes in your recycled waste, and produces filament up to 10 feet a minute, in any color you like.

Designed to be the easiest extruder on the market, ProtoCycler employs patent pending MixFlow technology to ensure consistent filament and faster extrusion of ABS and PLA plastic. In total, the device is equipped with five motors (two steppers for extruding and pulling, a fan for cooling, a servo for spreading and a small little motor for spooling), three sensors (one temp and two diameter), and an ATmega32U4 for a brain.

Makers will love the fact that it is fully automated with a push of a button, alleviating any unnecessary hassle. For more experienced users, ProtoCycler has open source software so you can experiment with your own settings and custom materials, fit for any 3D printer.


The ProtoCycler comes with a built-in grinder, intelligent computer control, safety certification and real time diameter feedback. It has a grinder input of 5” x 5”, and an all metal hot end for 400+ Celsius. At 14” x 12” x 10,” ProtoCycler can sit on a table without taking up too much space.

After three years of development, Oosterman and his crew are ready to get ProtoCycler into the hands of the public. ProtoCycler recently wrapped up a successful Indiegogo campaign, but those wishing to get their hands on an affordable, sustainable 3D printer filament can do so here.

Felfil Evo is an open source filament extruder

This desktop device turns pellets, materials from defective prints and recycled waste into 3D printer filament.

Even as accessible as 3D printers have become, you still need filament in order to bring your idea to life. Unfortunately, this leaves you at the mercy of manufactures, which as you can imagine (or know all too well) can be costly. This is why a growing number of Makers are turning to desktop extruders capable of transforming inexpensive pellets into suitable materials for your printer.


Hoping to help lead the way to affordability is Turin-based startup Collettivo Cocomeri, who has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its easy-to-use, open source filament extruder. The Felfil Evo is looking to enable anyone to produce their own resin out of industrial pellets, excess materials from defective or unused prints, and even recycled waste.

Upon getting started, you’ll have the option to choose your desired color, diameter and type of filament, depending on the job at hand. The pellets or granules are poured into a hopper, melted by three heaters and spit out through a carefully-designed brass nozzle where it is cooled down. According to its creators, the lowering of the temperature allows for greater consistency of the final product, whose diameter can come in either 1.75mm, 2.85mm or 3mm.


It should also be noted that Evo can extrude any thermoplastic polymer whose melting temperature does not exceed 300°C (572°F). The temperature control is handled through an Arduino-driven and customizable PID system. Thanks to its easy-to-navigate menu, you’ll be able to select a preset or fine tune your preferences via its display and adjacent knob.

Those wishing to get their hands on an Evo have three options. Targeted at more experienced Makers, the basic kit includes only essential components: a gear motor, aluminum structural support, an extruding screw, thermal insulation, a folding chamber and a nozzle, along with 200g of PLA pellets. Other components, such as heaters and electronics, are up to the user to purchase on their own, based on their needs. Meanwhile, the complete kit comes with everything necessary to begin, as well as a step-by-step instruction manual. Lastly, a fully-assembled Evo is available as well for the inexperienced and/or those just seeking an out-of-the-box experience.


Interested? Head over to Evo’s Kickstarter campaign, where the Collettivo Cocomeri crew is well on their way to reaching their $34,172 goal. If all goes to plan, delivery is slated for May 2016.