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Video clip: Maker Norbert Heinz’s open resource granule extruder for desktop 3D printers

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Norbert Heinz, a German engineer, and inventor has developed a lower-price granule extruder for desktop 3D printers, applying household merchandise and open source components. The creation expenditures underneath $25.

Heinz who describes himself as a ‘tinkerer’ works by using only open up-source software package and components for his assignments. In addition to inventing matters, Heinz also encourages science education and learning, especially ‘Physical Computing’, a combination of physics and computing. On his webpage, Heinz has a sizeable amount of educational material and really a several open up-source jobs ready to construct these types of as a 2D dot matrix printer and a plotter made by converting a 3D printer. 

He has also exhibited his inventions on exhibits like Make Munich 2019 where he was sponsored by the German automation company Siemens. 

A color logo of Heinz blog made with a plotter that Heinz made from an open-source 3D printer. Image via homofaciens.
A coloration logo of Heinz site manufactured with a plotter that Heinz built from an open up-supply 3D printer. Picture by way of Homofaciens.

Fused particle fabrication

Pellet extrusion is also identified as Fused Particle Fabrication (FPF) or Fused Granular Fabrication (FGF). The technological know-how is effective like a standard FDM/FFF 3D printer except that the extruder melts granules or pellets of plastic which are fed as a result of a hopper alternatively of a filament. 

Pellet extruders are a lot more commonly used in significant-structure 3D printers as they are able to extrude plastic at a enough flow for large diameter nozzles (1mm-25mm). 

Pellet extruders for desktop printers can value as considerably as $200 or more. In distinction to this Norbert Heinz built a pellet extruder using over the shelf provides and 3D printed parts.   

DIY direct granules extruder

Household-produced 3D printed pellet extruder 

The parts utilized in the design of Heinz’ extruder involve a 3mm wooden screw, a 5mm Teflon tube, a 3mm threaded rod, insulation paste, and a normal hotend. The plastic elements utilized to make the hopper feeder were being 3D printed. 

For materials, Heinz used waste PLA and PET, which was collected from aged plastic bottles. The squander was transformed into granules applying a blender. 

Heinz commenced his experiment by inserting a 3mm screw for extrusion through the metallic throat of a normal hotend. Although a 3mm screw did the occupation, it was only capable of processing quite good granules and did not get the job done properly with smaller or medium-sized pellets. Heinz then applied a 6mm threaded rod passed as a result of a compact piece of Teflon tube. To accommodate the Teflon tube, the borehole in the hotend was widened. The benefits appeared improved with this modification. 

Following, the German inventor attempted a thread with .5mm copper wire wrapped about it. The effects were even greater. It took a couple experiments for Heinz to excellent his creation but he did it. The remaining edition of the extruder uses a 3mm wooden screw attached to a 3mm threaded rod and it gives the very best outcomes.

The extruder was connected to a Zonestar P802 sequence FDM/FFF printer built by a Shenzhen-dependent company. The concluding examination exhibits that the Heinz endeavours were being a achievement. The graphic under is a 3D printed part employing PLA granules with a layer height of .2mm. 

A 3D printed part with the granule extruder (Right). The comparison part on the left is printed with Ender 3. Image via homofaciens.
A 3D printed component with the granule extruder (Ideal). The comparison aspect on the still left is printed with Ender 3. Picture by means of Homofaciens.

STL documents of the 3D printed areas can be downloaded listed here

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Featured graphic shows a 3D printed section with the granule extruder (Proper). The comparison aspect on the still left is printed with Ender 3. Picture by way of homofaciens.