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A simple, rugged, expandable, modable, filament extruder and multipurpose fabrication tool.
A simple, rugged, expandable, modable, filament extruder and multipurpose fabrication tool.
A simple, rugged, expandable, modable, filament extruder and multipurpose fabrication tool.
32 backers pledged $6,005 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Multistruder: 3D Printer Filament Extrusion Tool

$6,005

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1 WEEK LEFT!!!!

UPDATE: printed electronics housings (filament cooler fan deflector, electronics fan holder, all electronic mounts) and 3D printed liter bottle reservoir funnel. NOW INCLUDED FOR FREE FOR ALL MULTISTRUDER BACKERS.

INTERNATIONAL ONLY SPECIAL!!!! REWARD ADDED ONLY 15 AVAILABLE 

Early Bird savings off retail $70

Early Adopter savings off retail $50

All Multistruder reward backers will get coupon for expansion modules after kickstarter to boost your savings up to $130 off retail for early bird backers.

UPDATES POSTED: CHECK UPDATES PAGE

CHECK OUT AND BOOKMARK WEBSITE/FORUM www.thegreenengineers.com

Check out the weekley updated Multistruder Dev Blog 

http://www.thegreenengineers.com/index.php?/blogs/blog/1-multistruder-dev-blog/

The Multistruder is a multipurpose plastic extruder that turns plastic into different shapes such as filament to be used in your 3D printer. It is to be used with 2 different categories of plastic 1st being virgin pellets to filament. Second being recycling from plastic scraps to filament. This Kickstarter campaign is to Kickstart this tool as well as start in motion the development of additional plastic recycling tools and technologies.

Why would you use a Filament Maker:

Savings of course. By buying your own pellets you could cut your cost for the same amount of filament in half or more. Observe chart below.

Filament Vs. Pellets: LB/$
Filament Vs. Pellets: LB/$
Natureworks 4043D Indego Resin PLA Pellets (Left), Hatchbox 1.75mm PLA Filament (Right)
Natureworks 4043D Indego Resin PLA Pellets (Left), Hatchbox 1.75mm PLA Filament (Right)

As you can see from the above excel sheet making filament from pellets is around 2.2x cheaper to 4.3x cheaper than buying premade filament spools. And the more in bulk of pellets you buy (as you can see with the abs being ordered in larger weights) the cheaper it gets. Also if you have cut up plastic scraps that can be extruded (recycled) from the Multistruder than it is free and it doesn't get much better than that.

(Disclaimer: this is how much i found a batch of 4043D resin and abs resin selling for you will have to look for prices like this and you might find a better price or a worse price. Also be careful if you recycle unknown plastics through the machine as they can offgas fumes that are dangerous to inhale. More on recycling plastic through Multistruder at a later date)

About The Multistruder:

The Multistruder is a simple extruder design made entirely out of rigid pipe. The Multistruder is a vertical extruder design that optimizes desk space. It comes with a stand that can either be mounted to a desk and stand vertically upward or hang from a wall all using the same stand design (diagram further down page). The design uses the open source Arduino micro controller to control the electronics.

Why Arduino?

The reason why the design uses the Arduino controller is for more open source/mod ability and expansion potential. This tool is going to be designed to be used with a filament winding and filament diameter control systems to bring out the full potential of the tool. so instead of having a PID Controller (which the prototype uses and a lot of other filament makers use) and then buying a micro controller for everything else why not just have a Arduino do all of it.

Expansion Modules for Multistruder. Planed for Development and Release After Kickstarter:

Automatic Spooler: automatically rolls up filament that is extruded onto a standard spool. The module will use motors controlled by the Multistruder Arduino board. The speed will be (Manually) set to hold constant tension onto the filament to get more consistent filament diameter thus better performance. And if you also purchase the filament dimensional control module then the process is automatic. More on the spooler as its development progresses and when its release date nears.

Filament Dimensional Control: electronics that detect the diameter of the filament and (Automatically) sets the speed of the spooler motor to hold tension on the filament to get the best consistent diameter filament possible. This module will require the Automatic Spooler to work.

Changes From Prototype to Production Model:

  • Arduino Controller rather than PID Temperature Controller
  • TFT Color Touchscreen as the standard interface between the user and the arduino.
  • Motor Drive Controller for more precise speed control.
  • Filament Cooling Fan to cool the filament as it leaves the tip of the extrusion cap to prevent filament stretch thus keeping filament diameters more consistent 
  • Almunimum 1 Inch Extrusion Nipple and Cap helps spread out the heat throughout the extrusion nipple to keep temperature from spiking when heater band cycles on, thus increasing thermalcouple accuracy of temperature inside pipe. Thus increasing filament diameter consistency. Replacing steel 1 inch Extrusion Nipple and Cap.
  • Welded Thermalcouple onto Extrusion Pipe replacing the thermalcouple welded onto pipe clamp. This leads to better temp readings.
  • Insulation material to keep the heat on the extrusion pipe instead of just leaking into the room. Thread silicone insulation to keep the heat from the extrusion nipple from spreading to the bell reducer and further upward of the extruder to places were it shouldnt be.
New Control Electronics
New Control Electronics
     How is the Multistruder Different From Other Filament Extruders:
  • The Multistruder is designed to do be a multi purpose plastic extrusion tool. In other words it is designed to do more than just make filament. This is done by swapping out modular parts on the extruder (ex: Injection Molder (hint hint)). More details coming soon.
  • Open source and easily modable Arduino microcontroller "brain" making it very user friendly to control and configure and the ability to add various expansion modules to give you better extrusion performance.
  • Only need to interact with the Arduino brain. Then the Arduino sends those instructions to everything else.
  • TFT Full Color Touchscreen is included standard for easy realtime feedback and complete user friendly control of your extruder (Almost like using a phone)
  • All Metal Construction making for a durable extruder allowing for a long service life and less issues in the long run while still allowing ease of modability for the user.
  • Drive Motor Control allowing for precise control of extrusion speed.
  • Expansion Module support for spoolers, diameter control, etc. Whether you make your own or you buy them. 
  • Multiple vertical mounting options.
  • The Multistruder comes 95% ready to go (as well as tested) out of the box all you have to do is install it in your work space, add plastic then your ready to extrude filament.
  • Vertical Space Saving design: estimated to take up about 15" H x 15" L 6" W
  • SOMETHING IS REQUIRED TO MEASURE DIAMETER OF FILAMENT EX. CALIPERS.

Specs Of Prototype ( Production version > Prototype version)

  • Extrusion Speed: <~3 feet per minute (extrusion speed will be tuned by controller to get filament diameter consistency).
  • 1 Kg Spool: <~ 8 Hours
  • RPM: ~10 RPM
  • Torque: ~167 kg.cm
  • 1.75mm extrusion cap (you can ask for 1.75mm or 3.00mm)
  • 110 Watt Heater + 5 Watt Controller + 24 Watt Motor = so max = ~139 Watts. True wattage is alot less than 139 around 84 as the heater band is not always on
  • ~2 Cents/hour operating cost at 15 Cents/kWh
  • Extrusion Temp: up to ~400C

Diagrams:

Prototype Extruder Design
Prototype Extruder Design
How The Multistruder Works
How The Multistruder Works
Complete Arduino Control
Complete Arduino Control
2 Ways of Mounting Your Extruder
2 Ways of Mounting Your Extruder
T-Shirt Prototype
T-Shirt Prototype

Stretch Rewards:

2 Pounds of PLA Pellets to make filament $13,000

Machined Extrusion Nipple and Cap Upgrade (increased extrusion speed, even heating, and better filament diameter precision and accuracy)  $20,000

Extrusion Nipple and Cap Prototype
Extrusion Nipple and Cap Prototype
Project Timeline Part 1
Project Timeline Part 1
Project Timeline Part 2
Project Timeline Part 2

Risks and challenges

The main setback would be streamlining the production in order to manufacture and test enough units in a reasonable amount of time. As I want to focus on quality control, assembling and testing each one so all you have to do to get started is to remove it out of the box. This requires more effort on my part to error test every single unit for issues so i can fix them before hand which will save you time as well as my time in the long run.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Digital Thank You: Get some information about you on TheGreenEngineers thank you page as our way of saying thanks for supporting the project.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    1 LB of PLA Filament: (in 1.75mm or 3.00mm variations) extruded from the Multistruder to do quality test prints on your own 3d printer.
    Note: Does Not come on a spool!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The Green Engineers T-Shirt. Photos in campaign description.

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    Pledge $130 or more About $130

    EARLY BIRD:

    1 Multistruder Tool that comes fully assembled and tested in either 1.75mm or 3.00mm filament variations, all you need to do is mount it somewhere in your workspace and start extruding. Also special Early Bird Shoutout
    February Batch

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    1 Multistruder Tool that comes fully assembled and tested in either 1.75mm or 3.00mm filament variations, all you need to do is mount it somewhere in your workspace and start extruding.
    March Batch

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    1 Multistruder Tool that comes fully assembled and tested in either 1.75mm or 3.00mm filament variations, all you need to do is mount it somewhere in your workspace and start extruding.
    April Batch

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    1 Multistruder Tool that comes fully assembled and tested in either 1.75mm nozzle or 3.00mm variations, all you need to do is mount it somewhere in your workspace and start extruding.
    May Batch

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    1 Multistruder Tool that comes fully assembled and tested in either 1.75mm or 3.00mm filament variations, all you need to do is mount it somewhere in your workspace and start extruding.
    June Batch

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    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    INTERNATIONAL ONLY SPECIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Estimated Savings: $100 !!!!!
    Will ship anywhere (except domestic) for 90$

    NOTE: Domestic (U.S.) do not back this reward you will be charged 90$ for shipping. You will get the sale on additional modules after kickstarter if you back any of the other Multistruder rewards.

    1 Multistruder Tool, 1 Automatic Spooler, and 1 Dimensional Control. You get the full package nicknamed the "FilaFactory". Check campaign description for more details.

    Everything comes fully assembled and tested in either 1.75mm or 3.00mm filament variations, all you need to do is mount it somewhere in your workspace and start extruding.

    These units will ship 2 months after the last reward's estimated delivery date that has backers at the end of the kickstarter campaign. EX: so if it says March Batch then this reward will ship in June (at the latest could be sooner or later it depends on how the production and fulfillment goes.

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Funding period

- (30 days)