Besides the 3D printable model repositories, it seems that the filament sector hasn’t gone unnoticed by aspiring 3D printing market entrants either. We’ve seen idea-level concepts such as the Recyclebot making use of old plastic milk jugs, but today’s story goes more along the lines of Filabot. It’s from the UK and it’s called the Desktop Plastic Extrusion System for Everyone – or DPESFE for the acronym fans – and it’s aspiring to be a solution that will take care of all of your household’s recyclable plastic problems, whilst simultaneously providing you with fresh batches of filament rolls.
Take a (short) look of the process in the video below.
The man behind the project, an engineer named Edward Clifford, has been working on this extrusion system with the basic idea of enabling the (re-)use of old plastics lying around the house, but also of PLA and ABS pellets. The design also stands on principles of simplicity – e.g. only basic workshop tools are needed for assembly, nothing is welded and spares can be easily found at your local hardware store. After the Kickstarter pledge campaign is over, Edward will hand out complete build manuals in the virtual world with step-by-step instructions.
Even though the machine has proved to be worthy of taking the next step into the hands of a wider audience – with successful prints with the creator’s own (MendelMax) 3D printer and others as well – Edward is now looking for crowdfunding to finish some specific parts, such as the motor drive train.
As a side note, even though for the sake of transparency it’s as good as it gets, the Desktop Plastic Extrusion System for Everyone’s Kickstarter page is providing a very detailed list of what your pledging money will get you in return – which basically looks pretty much like a normal catalogue. This is a relevant aspect to be considered by all future Kickstarters, as the service has received some headlines regarding the ambiguity of it business model lately.
So, disregarding the meta problem within Kickstarter, currently, £220 will get you a filament maker machine in June 2013 (in UK only), making it quite a good deal, compared to the often wondered high prices of industry grade filament rolls.
The project’s Kickstarter site has a few more videos, so hit the link if you want to take a closer look into the world of the DPESFE.