Jan 27, 2015 | By Alec

Veterans of desktop 3D printing might have picked up on a curious notion in the supply/demand equation of their hobby: while 3D printers are steadily becoming more affordable, filament spools are seemingly impervious to market mechanisms, inflation or deflation. In short, they seem to always cost the same no matter what. Even the cheapest spools tend to be around or above $30, and we seem to go through them will tremendous speed; especially if you print a bit carelessly and just turn on your machine to 'see what happens' with a certain design.

If you recognize yourself in this, then a filament extruder might be a nice solution; machines that, in a nutshell, turn plastic pellets and coloring agents into spools of filament in the comfort of your own home. While these often come with a hefty price tag and require a bit of work to operate alongside your printer, they can save you quite a bit of money in the long run and they’ll produce a full spool for anywhere from $5 to $10. And one of the major producers of these useful devices, ExtrusionBot, has just announced a series of interesting upgrades to their signature machine, as well as two additional devices that could make filament extrusion easier than ever.

Pellets for PLA filament.

If ExtrusionBot sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because you’ve seen their models around the web. Since a very successful Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2013 (raising $70,000 more than their original goal), they have been successfully marketing their ExtrusionBot. Their original model was original interesting for two main reason: it produces filament at a massive three feet per minute, taking up little of your time, and secondly, it produces a full spool for as little as $5.

But their latest edition, the EB2, features a few interesting attributes that make life much easier for the budget 3D printers among us. Not only is it quicker than ever before (at 6.5 feet of filament extrusion per minute), it can now also work with a variety of other filaments (Nylon, HDPE, LDPE, HIPS, PET, plus ABS and PLA). It also features an improved pellet hopper system, a cooling mechanism and comes with a flashy touchscreen for easy use.

Perhaps even more interesting, are the two optional smart modules than can be attached through two USB ports. Specifically, these integrate the latest generation of filament extrusion gadgets that we’ve come across on other devices too (such as this competitor): an automatic spooler and a cruncher.

While the former is purely for convenience, as you won’t have to do it by hand anymore, the second is more environmentally and financially friendly: it recycles. You know those garbage bags full of failed experiments, ugly prototypes and support mistakes? These can simply be recycled by throwing them in the cruncher, which simply turns into new pellets. Theoretically, this will not only reduce waste, but will also allow you to use every spool to its full potential. This clever add-on can work with any object with a maximum size of 5 by 5 inches (so cut up larger pieces), and even features a self-closing lid to prevent curious children from getting injured.

These upgrades – especially the wider choice in filament production and the cruncher – definitely make the ExtrusionBot setup even more interesting. As to the prices, the EB2 will cost you $900, while the spooler and cruncher is priced at $225 and $700 respectively. However a 3D printing addict will quickly get his money’s worth. If you’re interested, be sure to visit their website here.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Accessories

 

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Marky DillHole wrote at 6/4/2015 11:25:23 PM:

So far Mark Dill has taken the money provided by the backers of his Kickstarter project and run. It's been 2 months since any update has been provided on status of the machines. For a self proclaimed "project manager" this is incredibly unprofessionl.

Marky DillHole wrote at 6/4/2015 11:24:06 PM:

So far Mark Dill has taken the money provided by the backers of his Kickstarter project and run. It's been 2 months since any update has been provided on status of the machines. For a self proclaimed "project manager" this is incredibly unprofessionl.

Andy Cohen, producer & cohost of the 3D Printing Today Podcast wrote at 2/4/2015 7:43:28 PM:

We are still waiting our promised eval unit which the head of the company promised us in the recordings we made at a 3D Printing Expo in Santa Clara last year for the 3D printing Today Podcast. If you are thinking about trying this WAIT until there's a hands on review if not by us then by someone else not at all connected with this company

ExtrusionBot Company wrote at 1/29/2015 12:54:14 AM:

With the earliest models of the original ExtrusionBot we noticed several areas of improvement and addressed them as quickly as possible to make the machine run better and extrude faster. This was one of the main reasons we discontinued sales of the ExtrusionBot in “kit” form shortly after our Kickstarter campaign. The Company has also continued to grow in size and capacity so that we can fill many more orders with accuracy. With the design of the EB2, we have addressed several suggestions from the customer feedback we received regarding the original ExtrusionBot. Such things as removing the legs for a more stable set up and separating the extruder from the spooler; allowing it to be purchased as an add-on. These design upgrades allow us, as a Company, to be more versatile in the way that we accommodate the needs of our customers. Dear Backer, we apologize that you were disappointed with our original ExtrusionBot. We would like for you to contact us at your earliest convenience via the Contact Us page of our website. We appreciate your feedback and would like to help resolve your concerns.

Bob C. wrote at 1/28/2015 9:58:43 PM:

I bought an Extrusionbot kit from Kickstarter as well. I was able to put it together just fine. If you didn't want to build a kit, why did you want to select it? i saved a ton a money buying the kit. There was an option to buy a preassembled one. You have to be use to putting stuff together like that. Mine is still working great today. Sometimes I have a hard time with the attached spoiler but that's it. I'm happy with it over all! I'm now looking at ordering the Eb2 and because it's suppose go even faster and uses other materials!

Ed wrote at 1/28/2015 10:05:56 AM:

$900 to be able to extrude rolls of filament for only $5? That roll costs $905, it will be a LONG time till it starts producing rolls that actually cost $5 to produce! "A 3D printing addict will quickly get his money’s worth"? Has anyone managed to recycle enough filament that actually covered the initial investment for the machine and original plastic materials?

Pissed Backer wrote at 1/28/2015 3:41:25 AM:

I bought the original extrusion bot from the first kickstarter, and let me tell you, the guy that makes these is a total ass. In his videos he spent as much time trying to smack talk his competitors as he did talking about his own product. He sent everyone a box of base components, unassembled, with no instructions, (some of the parts you even had to drill your own holes) and some of the parts were 3d printed so poorly they broke in shipping, plus there were a few missing parts. When assembled it was wobbly as hell to boot due to the high center of weight and retarded design of the supporting feet. To top it off, he completely ignored his backers for months on the forum setup to help us with the extrusion bot, then when he finally created a wiring schematic for the control board it was full of errors that the community had to fix for him. My extrusion bot eventually just went in the trash because it didnt work and was a waste of money. If Mark Dill is still developing the Extrusion Bot 2, expect it to be a pile of garbage. Do not buy from him. Sincerely yours, a screwed over backer of the Original Extrusion Bot



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