About this project
After much development we are pleased to bring you the market leading desktop system for producing on demand filament for your Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer - the FilaFab Extruder and the FilaFab Filament Winder.
The FilaFab system enables you to produce professional quality filament and spool it ready for printing, all within the confines of your desk/workshop.
WHY EXTRUDE YOUR OWN?
The benefits of producing your own filament are increasingly well known but if you need convincing here are the highlights:
- Save over 80% on the cost of ready made filament
- Recycle old prints and other plastics
- Experiment with new colours and compounds
- Extrude ABS, PLA, EVA, HDPE, NYLON and more
- 3D printer hobbyists
- Professional print hubs
- Universities, colleges and schools
- Architects and designers
- Prototyping services
- Filament sellers
...anyone who uses a FFF 3D printer!
We already have many established users in diverse fields such as:
- Rapid prototyping department of a major multi-national brand
- Astronomy research department
- Pharmaceutical research group
- Polymer and composites laboratories
- Arts and design institute
- Major polymer recycling centres
THE FILAFAB SYSTEM
We have worked tirelessly to produce a filament extruder which is robust, reliable, compact and easy to use. The FilaFab system is the market leading filament extrusion and winding system for the following reasons:
- 3 years of continuous research and development - ready to go!
- Industrial design miniaturised for your desktop - a real heavyweight!
- Easily handles a wide variety of materials - in a league of its own in terms of versatility.
- Many critical safety features built-in.
1 FilaFab Extruders
We have two versions of the FilaFab Extruder available, the EX100 and EX350.
EX100 is the standard model with a compact yet powerful motor drive, ideal for extruding both ABS and PLA and where space is at a premium.
For those who are serious about recycling or are looking to produce custom batches we would recommend the EX350 model which provides significantly more power to the drive system and also speed control - it is the daddy! This means that it can more easily handle some of the other polymers other than ABS and PLA.
Both models have common features which makes them the superior extruders available.
All-Metal Powerful Motor Drive - Consistent power is delivered to the auger through careful motor selection and attention to the drive-train design with dedicated electronics to maintain motor torque and velocity. Unlike some extruders we have not used any plastic parts.
Force Distribution - Managing the high forces created by the extrusion process has been taken care of by our extra robust steel frame system which enables a high power output within a small form factor.
High Speed - Precision engineering and a heavy duty drive-train combine to provide a high speed extrusion output for a range of materials. Extrude up to an astonishing 1kg of filament per hour.
Tolerance of Filament - Careful nozzle selection and winding speed ensures accurate filament with a high throughput and good tolerance, to rival the best mass produced filament on the market. Each machine is supplied with 1.75mm and 2.85mm nozzles, other sizes are available.
Variety of Materials - Unlike some other extruders which are limited to certain plastics we have designed FilaFab to handle a vast array of different materials and compounds, including: ABS, PLA, EVA, HDPE, NYLON and more.
Colour Choice - Combine readily available colourants to produce any colour of filament you require. Try producing filament that changes colour by adding different mixtures at various stages of extrusion.
Safety - The robust design includes many safety features, such as:
- Emergency stop button
- Auto shutdown on mains failure
- Fully encased power supply
- Nozzle and hopper guards
- Internal over Voltage and Current protection
- Steel powder coated enclosure
- Non slip feet
Aesthetics - Available in blue, black or yellow.
2 FilaFab Filament Winder
The extruders work without the winder by spooling under gravity however the winder allows for automatic spooling in one easy step and is a great accessory to any extruder. The use of the winder maximizes the quality of the filament and the ease by which you can transfer filament to your printer.
We have designed the FilaFab Winder with the following features:
Consistent Spooling - Digital spool motor control and filament positioning slide provide excellent spool layer build up. An adjustable speed stepper motor controls the horizontal position of the filament.
Easy to Setup - Adjustable end stops provide a quick and easy way to set the spool size, simply adjust to match the width of your spool and let the FilaFab Winder do the rest.
Easy to Use - Changing spools is kept ultra simple due to the rolling bar design which also provides compatibility with the majority of available spools.
Open Source - How the filament is managed after extrusion is important in order to achieve a consistent high quality filament. For this reason we have built in an open source sensor and accessory system which enables a variety of accessories to be attached to best suit your requirements. Two rails and a power/communications port are located on the front of the extruder for connecting one or more of the following:
- Various filament sensors
- Filament tension controllers
- Cooling devices such as fans
- Filament guide wheels
Sensors and accessories and designed to be mounted in printed plastic enclosures to give you the versatility to produce your own and also to modify and upgrade if required. At the end of the campaign enclosure designs will be made available to freely download and print your own. Alternatively we are offering pre-printed enclosures for you, see reward chart.
We already have two sensors available and are working on some accessories to go along side them. All files will be available to download after the campaign finishes.
Infrared Sensor - The default sensors are used to automatically control the winding speed. As filament is extruded it passes by two infrared sensors which are fed to the winding control system. If the filament deviates from the specified path the winder will adjust winding speed to compensate. This ensures that despite the spool's effective diameter changing as more filament is wound the speed remains almost constant, this feedback control loop ensures that the filament is not stretched out of shape while being wound.
Optical Micrometer - We are pleased to make available this precision optical micrometer, designed by Filip Mulier at Objects With Intelligence. The sensor was an obvious choice for our open sensor system by providing a real time width measurement of the extruded filament. Connected via the front panel accessory port the winder automatically detects it and self configures for its use. The winding of the filament is now automatically controlled to maintain the filament at the required width. The desired width is set either by the controls on the winding machine or by the soon to be released smart hone app.
We have developed FilaFab over the last three years and it has undergone extensive research, development and prototyping. We have taken on board feedback from customers of previous versions and the FilaFab offered today is a highly developed market ready machine.
We have a large workshop in Somerset setup with prototyping capabilities which means we have been able to design and test all of the bespoke components.
We have suppliers for all components which we have used before and built up relationships with. We have all the practical resources to meet your pledges. Our design aims throughout have been:
- To produce the best desktop filament extrusion and winding system available.
- Attention to detail with exceptional performance.
- Safe to use in a variety of environments.
- Low cost of ownership.
- Quick and easy to use.
- Easy to service.
- Compatible with future concepts.
- Compatible with existing devices.
- Rapid extrusion.
- Extrude and wind a lot of different materials.
We pride ourselves on the fact that the FilaFab system is robust and fit for purpose and as mentioned above this has already been endorsed by the market.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
We have spent many months completing the design and pre-production stages for our new desktop extruder and winder combination and are now seeking your help to bring them to market. With your backing we can pay for the initial tooling and minimum order quantities required to get the price to a feasible level. We have a number or rewards with savings of up to 50% compared to our anticipated after launch price.
With enough backers we can get the cost low enough to start delivering our machines to business hubs in developing nations. We want to see local businesses created collecting and recycling plastics to use and resell in a safe and sustainable way. Products can be produced using low cost 3D Printers fed from FilaFab machines. Filament can be sold on for profit or used directly. FilaFab can be taken directly to the point of usage which removes the necessity to transport large volumes of plastics to centralised locations. Funding will also go towards developing our exciting range of FilaFab Peripheral devices, see the What's Next section for details.
We have designed FilaFab EX Extruders and FilaFab Winder to be powerful and fit-for-purpose working together or standalone, but we are also working towards our next generation or FilaFab accessories, upgrades and add-ons which you will be able to take advantage of when released. All backers will receive a supporters discount on these future products to add-on to your extruder or winder.
Press & Media
Please email email@example.com for press pack.
Risks and challenges
Bringing any product to market can be a difficult challenge. We have overcome all of the foreseen challenges by completing the design and pre-production stages already. We have secured suppliers and created all of the design and production files. The major risk is that a supplier might less us down which could start putting delays on the production. We have for the majority of parts already considered backup suppliers in the even that this happens and so hopefully this would not impact the project significantly. We will do all that we can to meet our pledges on time and keep you updated with progress on a regular basis.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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