Material Insights

Top 5 Benefits of Filament Extruders

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What could possibly make 3D printing even more fun and captivating? A variety of filaments you can use to bring your ideas to life! That’s why making your own filament is convenient and fun. Just incase you’re having a hard time grasping the value in filament making – no problem, here are some points to showcase the benefits of filament extruders.

If you’ve worked with 3D printing long enough, you may have felt a glint of disappointment regarding the lack of available materials you want to use in your projects. Of course, color changing, and glowing filaments are fun, just like the super-flexible ones, but creators need more potential and more appliance possibilities for their final printed items. And this is the exact reason to consider making your own 3D filament instead of purchasing ready-made filament.

1. Customization

We don’t know about your experience, but from our experience of bought filament, we face defects too often to blame it on coincidence. Difference in thickness throughout, fragility, lamination – all of these aspects can ruin your project, or even become a cause of your 3D printer’s breakdown.

Customization – creating your material with your desired properties – can eliminate the listed problems. And here are the reasons, why.

  • Filament extruders allow control of all the features of the produced filament. Thanks to the built-in thickness meter, the possibility to customize all the stages of granules heating, and multiple sensitive sensors, the filament you’ll get will have perfect properties without any thicknesses deviations, over burnt sections, or cavities.
  • You can combine different materials to get entirely new blends. When the standard assortment of filaments satisfies you neither with quality nor with characteristics, you’re able to experiment with different types of plastic granules, additives, tweaking compounds to obtain something brand-new for your projects.

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2. Convenience

When making your own printing material using a 3D filament extruder, you’re controlling the future of filament. Let’s say you need less than a kilo of Bio PE filament but don’t want to wait several days before the delivery. Simply extrude whatever amount of 3D filament is required at the time it’s needed!

Self-made filament is convenient because:

  • You make the needed amount of the printing material and don’t have to keep dozens of half-empty spools you’ve used once and not going to try anymore.
  • The filament will not be stored in improper conditions. Sunlight, temperature change, and high humidity can damage the filament structure, making it inapplicable for printing. But when you create it on the go and immediately use it, you’ll get the best quality without any odd material remains.
  • No need to order filament from unreliable sites. Every time you buy 3D filament on the internet, you rely on luck – its quality is quite hard to predict unless you’re shopping from your trusted manufacturer. The printing material you’ll be using will pass your quality test with a filament extruder, so 3D prints will always be up to your standards.
  • Have filament when you need it. Don’t count days before delivery – your perfect 3D filament is always within reach!
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3. Cost

Let’s look at the spool price of regular black PLA filament. You won’t find a decent spool of PLA cheaper than $17 per kilogram. The spool price (aside from the raw material price) includes the cost of manufacturing (electricity, heat, industrial, workstation, employees paychecks), shipping, storage, and seller’s extra charge.

Comparing the price of the ready-made PLA with PLA pellets, you’ll see an unbelievable variation of prices: 1 kilogram of the most expensive PLA granules costs $5. Thus, when you buy filament pellets instead of manufactured spools, you save around $12 per kilogram.

Of course, a quality filament extruder will cost money, and you absolutely don’t need it if 3D printing is your part-time hobby. In this case, you may never pay off the cost of the equipment, and the purchase will only leave you with a hole in your pocket.

However, if 3D printing for you is something more than making models of your favorite cartoon characters, we’d recommend thinking about buying a filament extruder to fulfill your demands.

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4. Sustainability

We all know how often the 3D printing process becomes interrupted by different issues – from a jammed nozzle to an accidental warping. You’ll find yourself stopping the machine, fixing it, and printing again. But what about the plastic the printer has already used?

In many 3D workshops, wasted material is collected for re-using needs. The concept is simple:

  • Collect defected plastic
  • Clean and let it dry
  • Put it into a plastic shredder
  • Manufacture the filament from the plastic granules using a filament extruder

Such a scheme not only saves you a sufficient amount of money but also protects nature from redundant plastic pollution. Benefitting all sides of the ecosystem.

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5. Profit

On top of all these advantages, Filament extruders are a promising source of income. You can freely share it with other people for an additional price. Moreover, the cost of the granulated plastic – even summarized with the charge for your services – won’t excel the worth of the spooled filament. This way, you’ll have a source of passive income, and your extruder won’t stand idly when you don’t need it.

In addition, we’ve already discussed how you can use the extruder to experiment with the materials. Other 3D printing fans will appreciate a close-by source of cheap qualitative filament, so your extruder will have less chance to cool down!

To Buy or Not To Buy a 3D Filament Extruder

If you are satisfied with the filament you purchase online or in stores, or if you only turn on your 3D printer once a month, then having a filament extruder might be the most significant benefit for you. On the other hand, if 3D printing is your primary occupation or a very active hobby of yours, a filament extruder is an excellent investment in your printer’s well-being and your creative freedom. Defective printing material is our collective nightmare, and an efficient extruder can really change a situation with filaments for the better.