1

Topic: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

I'm just getting my Filastruder + Filawinder together, and after looking at the posts of the different materials, I have decided that I wish to try making composite filaments. The first I'd like to try is conductive, since I have a thing for electronics, and already have plans for a 3d design that will incorporate it.
Unfortunately, the only instructions I have found on how to mix graphite (or any form of carbon) with plastic is this video:


Hopefully I am wrong about that...but I still would appreciate any existing experience or even opinions before I begin experimenting.
Of course, I will make sure to use large diameter, wear-resistant nozzles in my 3d printer whenever I use composite materials.
When I have results, I will definitely post them here and in the Filastruder section.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

2

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

I actually asked this myself before getting mine.  Once I actually had one though I found there were so SO many types of plastic, so much to experiment with, that I've been moving from one type of plastic to another (started with ABS, did some MABS, did some TPU, some PLA, tried PET, succeeded with PETG) and haven't gotten to the composites attempt yet.

His method has been discussed before for making your own masterbatch colorant (rather than for trying to make conductive filament).  Acetone and ABS is just about the only plastic I would try it with - nothing really dissolves PLA that is as 'safe' (not that it is safe - just in comparison to other solvents out there) as acetone.   http://www.soliforum.com/post/76437/#p76437

Although part of me wonders just how 'clingy' fine graphite dust is - for all I know it might stick to the pellets like powdered colorant does and then you wouldn't need to do any of that.

3

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Although part of me wonders just how 'clingy' fine graphite dust is - for all I know it might stick to the pellets like powdered colorant does and then you wouldn't need to do any of that.

I bet it would be clingy, but because this additive provides an actual property and not just a color, the solvent method would be better for distributing the graphite to create the desired level of conductivity. More graphite may equal a higher conductivity, but it also makes the plastic more characteristic of graphite's other properties (such as being brittle). I'll start with the graphite ratio in the video, mixing it into ABS dissolved into acetone (as originally planned).

I also plan to make some regular PETG filament, after seeing the success that has, but first I need to get the "cycle" of selling prints and buying pellets going (I'm one of the few people in my local area that have a 3D printer).

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

4

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

JeremyLGSiegfried wrote:

Although part of me wonders just how 'clingy' fine graphite dust is - for all I know it might stick to the pellets like powdered colorant does and then you wouldn't need to do any of that.

I bet it would be clingy, but because this additive provides an actual property and not just a color, the solvent method would be better for distributing the graphite to create the desired level of conductivity. More graphite may equal a higher conductivity, but it also makes the plastic more characteristic of graphite's other properties (such as being brittle). I'll start with the graphite ratio in the video, mixing it into ABS dissolved into acetone (as originally planned).

I also plan to make some regular PETG filament, after seeing the success that has, but first I need to get the "cycle" of selling prints and buying pellets going (I'm one of the few people in my local area that have a 3D printer).

The solvent method seems the most prone to succeed, but also more labor intensive (unless you have a granulator).  IF graphite sticks to pellets though you could always stick some to some pellets, run them through, get one of those pelletizers off Thingiverse to turn the filament back into pellets,  get some more graphite to cling to those pellets, and then run them again.  It sounds like more work - but for the most part you can motorize pelletizers,  Filastruder does it's thing once you have it going, so it's less manual work overall I'd think (with the benefit of being able to do it with any plastic unlike the solvent method).

Let us know how it goes - and if it works where you got your supply of graphite from (different chopped sizes from different places might react completely differently)

5

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

I've done some research the past few days and I have found graphite, bronze, and iron powders that are reasonably priced and are fine enough to get past the filtered nozzle. I plan to buy and use a wear-resistant 0.5mm nozzle when I have actually made the filament, so that I won't be destroying nozzles or getting constant clogs.

I probably should have mentioned in the first post that I already have a 2-step method planned for turning failed prints/recyclables into pieces suitable for the Filastruder, and the only extra step a block of plastic will need is probably a good whack with a large hammer. In fact, it will probably be easier for me to process a solid block than to deal with the directional stringing of a 3D print.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

6

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

and if it works where you got your supply of graphite from

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IS … YQ7K8DZDCS

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Pound-Iron-Po … 2289500909

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bronze-Powder-3 … 2289500909

I probably won't be buying these exact items (except the graphite, it's one of the best prices for such fine material).
They do show the general idea, though.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

7 (edited by JeremyLGSiegfried 2016-12-01 00:15:18)

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Update: My meat grinder just arrived, and it is effective at grinding up the bits of plastic I have that aren't quite small enough for the Filastruder. Now all I need to start destroying recyclables is a chipper/shredder, which I will be getting soon.
The "shreds" are so fine that I could easily distribute recycled material into virgin, and I may even be able to just mix it dry with powders and still get a consistent distribution.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

8

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Could you post a few photos of what you're putting in vs. getting out?

9

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

The "combined" bag I was using; the larger chunks on top go in the grinder, and the smaller stuff on the bottom is most of what comes out:
http://soliforum.com/i/?5AsJMKZ.jpg
A zoomed-out view of the bag:
http://soliforum.com/i/?t3QdQS0.jpg
A clean, hole-free bag with only the output from the grinder:
http://soliforum.com/i/?48vlnmx.jpg
As can be seen by the image, the grinder does a great job of making plastic pieces small enough to go in the Filastruder. The chunks in the first bag were made with an old paper shredder (not doing that again). Besides the occasional paper contaminant, the shredder simply wasn't powerful enough to handle even regular "sheets" of plastic: most of the transmitting gears in the unit were plastic, and of course there was a nylon safety gear that broke, as it was supposed to, when the shredder simply couldn't take it.
Since I want to process large pieces of plastic (failed prints or recyclables), I plan on getting a chipper/shredder, which should turn most objects into chunks or shards suitable for the meat grinder.
But before I grind the entire bag of plastic, I first need to mount the grinder properly, so that I can apply force to the handle more effectively. Right now it is only attached by the screw of the clamp coming through a hole in the metal surface of the workbench I am using, so I have to use my other hand to hold the grinder steady. Not fun.
It is probably a good idea to use a belt and pulleys to increase the torque applied to the grinder, and the hook up a crank or motor to the other pulley. Anyone planning to buy a meat grinder for these purposes should keep that in mind, and maybe buy a model that already has a pulley.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

10 (edited by JeremyLGSiegfried 2016-12-05 21:53:30)

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Now that I have mounted the meat grinder in a sturdy fashion, it is much easier to grind plastic. The grinder handles larger chunks of plastic (like failed prints) really well, even better than the shredder leftovers. I am confident that the grinder can handle whatever comes out of the chipper.
The grinder is mounted to a piece of 2x4 by those metal vent hanging strips (serving as makeshift hoseclamps). That 2x4 is in turn fastened to a piece of decking board (a base), which is fastened to the workbench by 4 3" woodscrews going through and into more decking board underneath (I had a lot of scrap wood to work with).
The trickiest part was using the strips in a manner that prevented the grinder from shifting. A single strip failed, since the feet of the grinder were just above the base board and thus allowed the grinder to twist. Using another strip to hold the legs to the 2x4 solved this problem.
UPDATE: After fixing the handle (the cheap rivet fell out) and grinding the rest of the bag of blue scraps, I learned that the grinder works best with thin pieces of solid plastic (like rafts, brims, skirts, or scrap filament), or large pieces of weak plastic (stuff with about 50% infill or less is my guess), or any suitable combination/intermediate of the two. The grinder is capable of shearing these pieces, both at the auger and at the cutter. Like before, the entire bag of ground plastic is ready to be used in the Filastruder...once dried and mixed with virgin material of course.
Speaking of which, I found a datasheet for some ABS on eBay, and on it was the standard mix ratio of regrind to virgin: 20%.
Since filament extrusion may tack onto the heat history, and the resulting weight ratios work nicely with US pounds, I plan to mix a tenth of a pound of regrind with every virgin pound to make my "virgin" filament. 2*1.1lbs=2.2lbs=1kg, so I can easily scale it to runs for 1kg or 3kg spools. I may choose to adjust this ratio though...

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

11

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Well, I made a very poor choice when I purchased my meat grinder. The handle snapped in half yesterday, and when I checked what material the unit was on the product page...it said it was cast aluminum. No wonder it was so easy to grind off the logo when I was mounting to 2x4s...
If you plan to try this process yourself, buy a sturdy grinder, made of cast iron or better, with legs that can be bolted down, and (preferably) a nice, big pulley/flywheel to make the grinding easier, or even automated. You'll probably be sorry otherwise.
...So now I'm saving up to get this: https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Gear-Cast- … der+pulley

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

12

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

It's amazing how powerful plastic can be at times (people tend to think metal trumps plastic without considering thickness or shape)  I know I personally have broken some metal tools of mine trying to finish some parts printed in 3D850 - the supports were stronger than my metal tool.

13

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Something that works in the grinder's favor, however, is that the plastic will start to get hot from shear (hot enough that the plastic may even start to smell). Not a big deal if done correctly, though.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

14

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

What is the tolerance of the largest pieces you've grinded so far?
Are they within the recommended 5mm? If not, have you regrinded to see if you can shave that diameter down?

Printit 8.10 printer
Multiple SD2s- Bulldog XL, E3D v5/v6/Lite6, Volcano, Hobb Goblin, Titan, .9 motor, Lawsy carriages, direct Y drive, fishing line...the list goes on
Filawinder and Filastruder #1870.....worth every penny!

15

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

The pieces are always smaller than the holes of the front plate, which are no larger than 5mm diameter. The only exception to this is when grinding thin strips or pieces of filament: on occasion, a longer piece may come out, but it is never longer than about 10mm, and generally appears to still be small enough to work with the Filastruder.
That being said, regrinding the plastic is quite effective, since granules tend to get "shaved" at the cutting plate, which is why there are shavings in the bottom of the bag from the first run.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

16

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

My Filastruder died yesterday, due to the power cutting out on the unit long enough for the ABS to drop to about 150 C. When power came back the motor was still switched on...so the nipple bent at its weakest point: the entryway for pellets.
Upon detensioning the flange with the motor, I also heard stripped gears. Turned out that 2 and 3 lost some teeth when the nipple bent. Thankfully, the auger and flange seem to be intact, but I'll know for sure once I pull the auger out with the help of a plumber's torch.
In short, 150 C temps with ABS=bent nipple and stripped motor gears. On the bright side, I finally got my fan setup working, and managed to get some potentially usable 1.75mm filament out of my dying Filastruder.
I've already contacted Tim about a replacement nipple, and am in the process of purchasing the replacement gears now.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

17

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Sorry that I've been quiet for so long. I wanted to take pictures, but I never got around to it.
The Filastruder is back together (with a better thermocouple and custom insulation), and is ready to be re-mounted. I reprinted the fan guide and even replaced a lost nut for the flange.
My new grinder (a cast iron #32 with a pulley) really does the job grinding the shreds from the chipper-shredder, as well as brims, rafts, filament scraps, low infill prints, etc. Now all I need is a 1/2 HP motor to give this thing an "auto" mode.
The output from this grinder is even smaller than the old one. In fact, a good portion of it looks more like powder than pellets.
Still, it's perfect for the Filastruder, and I have some bags of PETG now to boot.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

18

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

BTW, the #32 grinder is big enough to process a ping-pong ball WHOLE. Low infill prints the size of a tennis ball are also fair game.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

19

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Photos/links? Sounds really interesting.

20

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

The grinder is the same one that I linked above...I finally found the funds to actually buy it.
I was surprised by the size of the box it came in, mainly because I had no idea how big a #32 is. (The old grinder must have been a #12 or something.) Only when I saw the Amazon notification that it had been delivered did I put 2 and 2 together.
There also was another drop-it-in-the-shipping-box promotion; we got a free sample of some really good coffee and coupons to buy more.
I'll try to post pictures of the grinder, it's output, and familiar objects for size reference tomorrow.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.

21

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Just picked one up, should here next week.

22

Re: Anyone tried making composites for a Filastruder?

Finally! An image of the grinder I have, with the old grinder and a ruler for reference.
http://soliforum.com/i/?ePvcKMy.jpg
865 grams! Only 135 more to go! (Yes, I did zero the ruler first.)
http://soliforum.com/i/?yuafwSs.jpg
First attempt at reference scale.
http://soliforum.com/i/?ekHJDoW.jpg
Second attempt. I used my hand to reduce the glare.
http://soliforum.com/i/?Dixezc8.jpg
I probably spent a total of 5-6 hours grinding this, spread over the course of a few weeks. Then again, this is just manual mode; a 1/2 hp motor could easily handle the bulk of what I throw in.

Filastruder 2607 w/ Filawinder @1.75mm.
Dual-extruder MaxMicron Prusa Mendel: RAMPS 1.4 w/ Repetier Firmware+Full Graphic LCD Controller, stock hotends, injection molded bowden extruders w/ hobbed gears, insulated enclosure w/ 2 heat lamps, RPi 2B+ w/ Repetier Server.
0.1-0.2mm layer height, heated bed w/ PEI surface, inductive-sensor autolevel, 0.5mm to 0.2mm nozzle diameters.