On March 2, 2013 Zach Kaplan, CEO of online store Inventables, presents a giant check to inventor and competition winner Hugh Lyman.
Inventables, the Kauffman Foundation and Maker Faire announced in May 2012 the launch of The Desktop Factory Competition - each team is required to design an open source machine capable of making plastic resin pellets fit for use in a low cost 3D printer.
The purpose of this competition is to drive down the cost of filament by creating a new filament extruder. Currently the cost of plastic filament is $30~50/kg, by creating such a new machine the organizers seek to make the filament price drop to around $5.
The first one who uploads a solution will be the winner -The first team/person to build an open source filament extruder for less than $250 in components can take ABS or PLA resin pellets, mix them with colorant, and extrude a 1.75mm +/- .01mm filament that can be used in a 3D printer is declared the winner.
The Reward - The winning team will receive $40,000 from the Kauffman Foundation and a Desktop Fabrication Lab (a 3D printer, an FS Laser Cutter, and a Shapeoko CNC Mill).
The winner here is 83-year-old Hugh Lyman, an engineer, inventor, fisherman and golfer from Enumclaw, Washington. Hugh Lyman holds eight patents and has been building quite a few low-cost desktop 3D printers and printing things for family and friends, as well parts for his inventions.
When Lyman heard about the Desktop Factory Competition, he was instantly intrigued, in part because he'd benefit if the problem it set out to address was solved. "Every time I buy a couple of pounds of filament, it costs me forty to fifty bucks," he explains. "I was burning through it pretty fast." He also shared the contest organizers' vision of pervasive, democratized manufacturing: "I would think that at least half the homes in the world will eventually have a 3D printer."
Lyman entered the Lyman Filament Extruder in the contest in Aug.2012 but was disqualified because the budget exceeded the $250 limit. So he modified the design and came up with the second version: the Lyman Filament Extruder II. "It's my first machine with a few little parts changed," he says. "I resubmitted it, and it worked. It worked great." The judges agreed and declared him as the winner.
The Lyman Filament Extruder II is a machine that extrudes filament from pellets for use in a 3D Printer. It features more metal parts than the previous version. It extrudes different filament diameters depending on the nozzle hole size. With this home-made filament extruder, you can save 80% on the material costs. A spool of plastic filament costs $50/kg, and buying a kilogram of pellets and extruding your own filament will cost you only about $10. And if you buy 25 kilograms of pellets in bulk, you only need to pay $5 for each kilogram.
Lyman's invention is open source for anyone to use and build, and it could benefit a whole 3D printing community. His Filament Extruder has been downloaded 10608 times, and 1563 people have downloaded the version 2.
Another Thingiverse user bottleworks made his version of the "Lyman Filament Extruder" with larger hot end, automatic timing system, fan ducting, modified sprokets and hopper and adjustable motor speed on the control panel, and has been downloaded 7404 times.
And for the future, Lyman plans to continue to do new things himself: He's at work on a third-generation extruder. As for his $40,000 award, Lyman says: "I'm going to give half of it to the wife, and tinker with the other half."
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Surprised he got the money wrote at 6/29/2014 5:10:21 AM:
have you seen what his version 4.1 comes out to costing? around 850 bucks! seems like the 250 dollar marks passed a long time ago.
Kevin wrote at 3/28/2013 4:22:49 AM:
Sounds like Jake is a "hater"
Jake wrote at 3/13/2013 2:08:54 PM:
I think this is BS. He made a machine that was a carbon copy of machines that were built years ago, and the "mix them with colorant, " clause has been completely ignored.