May 31, 2015 | By Simon

Of all of the various add-on features for fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers that can help put a few pennies back into your pocket, the use of pellets rather than filament is one of the easiest ways for saving as much as 75% of your additive manufacturing costs.  

While some may prefer the convenience of pre-made filament delivered directly to their door, those with some extra time (and space) on their hands can just as easily create their own thanks to a myriad of options available these days - including options that also enable users to recycle old prints into new filament again.  Now, an exciting new product from South Africa’s Fouche3DPrinting aims to make the process even easier before.  

The company’s recently announced Waltruder 8 filament extruder promises to offer a direct savings of more than 75% compared to the average cost of existing filaments.  Additionally, the use of pellets rather than filament can provide an added benefit to 3D prints including an increase in material flexibility.  According to Fouch3DPrinting, both soft or flexible materials can be difficult to extrude from filament, as this process requires some resistance to buckling between the extruder drive and the nozzle.  Some filaments - such as PLA - have a tendency to break overnight. This then requires the filament extruder to be cleared, the filament re-threaded and some filament thrown away.

As well as the above benefits of using a pellet-based extruder, users also enjoy the reduced stock of material and ability to store it in a more controlled environment; many filament spools are susceptible to moisture damage whereas a pellet extruder hopper can be closed and contained to avoid any moisture exposure.  

As for the WalTruder 8 Extruder, the features of the money-saving pellet hopper include an 8mm diameter auger, a main body that houses 2 bearings which carry the auger and serve as the feedport for feeding the pellets from the hopper into the auger as well as locating the the heated barrel, a Nozzle Block and a hopper that can hold approximately 300 grams of pellets.  Additionally, an included mounting bracket makes it easy to mount the hopper to existing 3D printers.  

For those interested, the extruder includes interchangeable nozzles in sizes of 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 mm in diameter while the pellets will come in PLA, ABS, TPU, Nylon and PET materials in colors including Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue and Green.  The company plans to release the product at the end of June interested users can head over to the Fouce3DPrinting website to find out more or submit proposals for manufacturing, marketing and sales rights for this product.

 

Posted in 3D Printer Accessories

 

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