Mar.9, 2014

High cost of filament has always been a problem for makers. 3D printers, which turn digital blueprints into physical objects made out of plastic or other materials, are getting better, simpler and cheaper. But without a cheaper way to produce filament, the price of 3D printed objects will still remain high.

Inspired by the Lyman Filament Extruder which turns plastic pellets into filament that can be used for 3D printing, UK start-up Noztek has developed the Noztek Pro, a new ABS/PLA filament extruder.

"Most of the other extruder's currently on the market are in kit form, which is great for the enthusiast, but as 3D printers become mainstream we felt that consumers would much rather have a plug and play model." writes Noztek. "The Noztek Pro can be unboxed and is ready to use in about 15 minutes, just plug in, turn on the heater add the resin pellets, then turn on the motor and you will be extruding straight away."

The Noztek Pro will make a 1KG of filament in just 3\4 hours, says the company. Bulk wholesale resin pellets can be purchased very cheaply, Noztek expects that customers can save up to 70% of the cost of retail filament, which range from 20 to 50 dollars per kilo.

The Noztek engineering team has been working on the improvement of the filament extrusion speed and tolerance levels. They "manufactured a larger screw with a bigger barrel, the channel depth is 0.25mm (the distance between screw flight width and the inside diameter of the barrel) which improves the plastic melting process, thus offering much tighter filament tolerances." states Noztek.

"The new barrel is now one piece, while further improvements have been made to the thrust bearing arrangement and an upgraded local sourced heater element, which offers a more consistent nozzle temperature."

The Noztek pro has been tested using ABS or PLA. Depending on extrusion temp and plastic, it extrudes at up to 1 meter per minute. Noztek have also upgraded the gear motor and added a variable speed control circuit, which allows for tight screw rotation speed when extruding different types of plastic.

"We are currently testing extrusion speed and particularly the filament tolerances as we are looking to achieve 0.04 or better to enable precise 3D printing. The whole unit has been designed to be upgradeable, which means current users can purchase an upgrade which will allow full control of the unit via a USB interface." says the company. The launch of the upgraded Noztek Pro extruder will also be followed by an additional winder unit, allowing the filament to be wound neatly onto a spool.

The Noztek Pro ABS and PLA filament extruder is available for £595 ($992, €723). Watch below film of the Noztek in action.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Materials

 

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Steven F wrote at 1/12/2015 12:46:25 PM:

Hi guys I can assure you that the Noztek can produce filament using PLA. The screw was adapted in the early development to deal with this polymer. In fact now it can extrude powdered based products, including metal alloys.

Mike wrote at 4/23/2014 3:56:07 PM:

Maybe better to make a 3d printer that can take pellets ?

Adam wrote at 3/11/2014 12:45:52 PM:

I think you would need to use purge-x it is used for color changes by the industrial injection molding extruders and it pulls the old color out. just do long runs to save on purge waste. you can afford it material is cheap as heck.

Andreas wrote at 3/11/2014 7:19:09 AM:

Before buying something like this, i want to see someone cleaning out the extruder and change materials (PLA / ABS) or even use a different color of the same material. If i was extruding black ABS and now want to extrude white ABS, i don't think it will be as easy as to just drop the other pellets in, or i will get coutless meters of "grayish" filament first before there is a chance to have pure white filament... And as it was already said by Ben, for $1K, this machine would need to last long and be used A LOT before you actually save any money, and i still think that off the shelve filament is worth the added cost as long as plastic quality, tolerances and these basic parameters are okay.

Ben wrote at 3/10/2014 5:26:12 PM:

you gotta print A LOT to offset $1k... as in around 60 spools to break even in savings.

jd90 wrote at 3/10/2014 1:32:57 AM:

It looks like the video shows ABS being extruded. Of all the extruders that claimed to extrude PLA, I've not seen any of them show video of said extruder making PLA filament. If you're lucky, they'll show you PLA pellets in a bag, but don't show it being extruded. Seems pretty dishonest, in my opinion.



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