Things has been quiet on our blog but that does not mean we have been doing nothing. We have been working with Tim Elmore (Designer of the Filastruder) over the past few months. We are happy to say that we will be manufacturing the assembled Filastruders and after the Kickstarter, we will be selling them. Tim has presented us with a great opportunity and we could not be happier. This is a great device and I encourage anyone who is looking to make filament at home, to buy one. Our CNC router is ready to crank enclosures out and we are ready to assemble them. Show your support and help this project succeed. Check out the Kickstarter and spread the word!!!
We helped design the enclosure and I am happy with the way it came out. I also like how our machine has a huge scar!!
Our initial build before the enclosure was designed.
Just making some 1.75mm filament
The CNC Router cutting out the enclosure.
Our new Wire EDM gears. They are beautiful and now we can get to making some filament!!
To create more torque, we used two PLA gears made on our Ultimaker. This brings down our RPM from 15 to about 10 and our torque to 750 oz in.
We met up last night to work on the extruder. We have been using the natural HDPE and the results are good. The material is much stronger and flexible compared to when we were just using the HDPE colorant. Our motor is still under powered but instead of buying a new motor just yet, we are going to try gearing it down. A 2:1 reduction will double our torque and half our speed. The gears will be 3D printed (not sure if they will be strong enough but its an easy test) and we will use the same motor. Our extrusion speed will go down but at least we will have some results.
We also cleaned up some space for the company and our project. Check out the pictures https://osprintingllc.com/2012/11/27/new-project-space/
Sorry things have been a little slow around here, but we are getting back into the swing of things. So over the past 3 weeks we have used three different motors to run the screw. The first one did not have enough torque and could barely run the system. We replaced this one with one from a car window motor. That thing had plenty of torque and was fast. But our power supply could not handle the current and it almost ran to fast for the filament to cool. Note, this motor will work great when we are able to make filament at higher speeds. Finally, we are using a powerful (about 500 in oz of torque) motor from RobotShop.com (great site for random robotic electronics and parts). This motor runs at 15RPMs (about the same speed as our first one) and runs great. It has the torque to run the system and the power supply can handle it. So we fix the motor issue and we run into the next one. We can get the filament to come out but its stringy or globby. We fix this by making a new nozzle and heat that nozzle at a constant rate. The issue with the thin filament may be due to the fact that the nozzle is cooler than the melting temp of the filament.
This filament was made using the third motor. You can see some globs of plastic.
We met up on Saturday and worked on cleaning up the concept 3 prototype. The front panel has the temp controller and the nob for controlling the spool motor. The screw motor is set to run at full power all the time. A fan has been added to help cool the filament as it exits and will prevent the filament from stretching. It looks much better now. All it needs is some paint and it would be slick.
We met on Sunday and did some testing. We got the filament to extrude out at a good rate. We initially had some issues with the power of the new motor we got. We let the extruder heat up and has to run the motor at a higher voltage than suggested. Once we had some movement the voltage was set to 12V and it ran good. There are a few pictures below and a video of it working. Also, the video has some footage of the strength of the filament.
Things to do
- Upgrade motor- we need a little bit more torque
- Mount Fan- this will help the filament not stretch out
- Clean up the prototype
- Put the spool motor back on