3D printers are the main protagonists at Maker Faire 2016. Many stand show the various printers while they’re at work. There, You can see many models of various brands while they are printing 3D computer models using simple plastic filaments. But among all these stands, it was interesting to talk to Alessandro Severini, technical manager of FelFil who outlined the importance of the extruders.
What are the filament extruders?
In a world where 3D printers are growing both in number of models such as production, the demand for plastic filaments is becoming greater. In fact, plastic is the material required for 3D printing.
The filament extruders are devices that allow you to produce plastic filaments using recyclable plastics from no longer usable materials, or even pellets. The extrusion process is very easy, you put the plastic into the hopper, then an extruding screw bring the material trought an heated melting chamber. Once melt, the material comes out from a nozzle.
The importance of the extruders is that they allow to recycle the plastic used for 3D printing, reusing printer models with defective or no longer useful. So you can save considerably on the plastic coils costs, while helping to protect the environment.
To self-produce the plastic filament used by FDM 3D printers is the goal of many enthusiasts around the world. Some projects in USA and in Europe were born with this goal. One of the most interesting is the Italian Felfil.
FelFIl EVO is a filament extruder born as open hardware but ready to be used with ease and safety. The components are optimized to ensure a maximum quality of the filament.
The first version was created to stimulate as much as possible DIY production; however, Felfil Evo is designed in order to start a small production in series of two different assembly kit:
- the complete one that includes all the components needed for packaging
- the basic one that includes only the basic components, and leaves the rest to the inventiveness and skill of the Maker
“Evo” means evolution and, in effect, this new product was born from Felfil experience. The development has been so deep that led to the definition of an extremely renewed product. Firstly, the electronic system is controlled by a board compatible with Arduino that allows more freedom for the user who has the desire to experiment, as well as higher ease of use.
Secondly, another evolution is the case, carefully elaborated in its design. The plexiglass and the aluminium present a very nice look, making Felfil Evo a great product also to look at.
The use of small extruders as plastic recycling tools is a factor not to be overlooked in a market that wants more and more 3D printing at the center of innovation technology. I hope that this model is only one of the first approaches to this reuse system of waste material, which will also support the costs borne by those who use it as well as helping the environment