How it’s made – 3D Printer Filament

Close up image of a 3D printer printing a plastic toy mold

How it’s made:

3D printer filament

Step 1: The first step to creating 3D printing filament is to pour a lot of raw PLA or ABS resin into a mixing container. The resin always starts out white so you will need to mix in the pigment of your choice to make it whatever color you want. It is even possible to mix in an additive to give your material certain properties such as magnetic properties or even stronger structural integrity. 

full bag of raw resin material

Step 2: The next step is a very important one in order to ensure the filament does not get stuck in a 3D printer’s nozzle. The resin material needs to dry for 2 hours in 60 to 80 degrees Celsius temperature.

dryer machine for sucking the moisture out of resin material

Step 3: Next the resin need to go into a single screw extrude machine. This machine has 4 zones that has to be the right temperature in the right sequence for the right speed and traction speed to get the perfect filament. If the filament comes out oval shaped than it is because the temperature was not at the exact temperature it needed to be. 

Single screw extrude machine

Step 4: The last step is for the resin to pass through a very long zone of cold water so that it cools down at a slow rate. The machine will wound up the filament into a spool at the end of the machine. 

Filament coming out of the end of the single screw extrude machine

 

For even more information on the process visit this website for more explanations and a great video!

https://makezine.com/2015/02/11/how-it-is-made-3d-printing-filament/

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