How to produce 3D printing filament?

A crucial part of additive manufacturing is filament, which serves as the "food source" for FDM 3D printing.

We describe the procedure for creating filament in this article. We'll concentrate on the five primary steps, starting with raw materials and finishing with a spool.

Step 1: Making Pellet Raw Material

Making the plastic is the initial stage in the creation of filament.

Plastic Suppliers usually produce clear or white pellets and resins. As a result, their clients can control over the coloration procedure.

Step 2: Preparation

The pellets are mixed with additives in an industrial blender to create a consistent blend and contribute specific properties to the filament.

The pellets are hygroscopic, which means they absorb moisture from the air. This can cause the plastic to deform or degrade; therefore, removing any moisture from the pellets is necessary to ensure the production of quality filament.

The pellets are dried after they have been thoroughly mixed. Pellets are typically dried for a few hours at temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Celsius.

Step 3: Shaping
The pellets are shaped into a string shape, which includes extrusion and cooling process.

In the extruder, under the action of high temperature and pressure, the pellet materials become molten, and they are extruded into filaments through precision extrusion dies.

The filament is pulled through heating and cooling water tanks after leaving the extruder. The first water tank is filled with warm water, which is essential for achieving a rounded filament. The second water tank is filled with cool water, which cools and solidifies the filament into its new shape. The diameter of the filament is determined by the pulling speed. A slower speed results in a larger diameter, whereas a faster speed results in the opposite.

Step 4: Winding
The filament is pulled from the cooling water tank to the winding machine by haul-off machine. In this process, these is a laser device measuring the diameter of the filament to ensure it is within the tolerance of the target diameter, which is most likely 1.75 mm or 2.85 mm.

Then the filament is wound around a spool. When sensors detect that the spool has reached its capacity, the filament is cut and secured.

Step 5: Packaging
The last step is to pack the filaments with a vacuum packaging machine.

The filament is ready to ship to customers once it has been properly packaged. Spools that are not immediately shipped out are kept in storage until someone like you orders them.


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