Filabot is a desktop extruding system, capable of grinding various types of plastics, to make spools of plastic filament for 3D printers. Recycles bad prints, makes filament from recycled plastic, and even use low cost pellets for new filament.
We are excited to announce three new products to our Filabot lineup. This blog and video will help outline the updates and new products.
Filalogger - Inline Filament Diameter Graphing and Recording - YouTube
The first product is an update to the Fowler Filameasure. We have updated the digital indicator from a Folwer to a Mitutotyo digital indicator. This brings us a few new improvements. The new Mitutoyo Filameasure is solar powered, so users won’t need to worry about the battery running out during use. The indicator has the capability to output data whereas the Fowler Filameasure did not. Lastly we chose to switch to the Mitutoyo brand because they are well recognised for building high quality instruments. The Mitutoyo Filameasure works as a standalone unit in the same way the Fowler version did. Our first production run is in stock and shipping. To learn more about the new Mitutoyo Filameasure click here.
Filalogger Software and SPC Unit
The Filalogger Software and SPC Unit is a completely new product which utilizes the filament diameter data output from the Mitutoyo Filameasure. This product allows users to graph and record filament diameter on a Windows PC. Adding this functionality helps to improve control and monitoring of the extrusion process. The filament diameter data is stored in .csv file format in a folder on the PC for future analysis and traceability. The Filalogger Software is a custom, open source, application that runs on any Windows computer. To learn more about the Filalogger Software and SPC unit click here.
Windows Tablet with Pre-Installed Filalogger Software and SPC Unit.
The last product includes a touch screen tablet that comes pre-installed with the Filalogger Software along with the SPC unit for connecting the PC to the Mitutoyo Filameasure. Users can install the Filalogger Software and firmware on their own Windows device, however we wanted to provide an option for customers that is plug and play. An additional feature of the tablet is that the bottom has a magnet and kickstand allowing it to sit perfectly on top of the Filabot EX6 or conveniently next to any extrusion setup. To add this item to your filament extrusion setup click here.
All of these new products help to improve the production of high quality filament. Let us know if you have any questions or comments.
As of 5/22/19 Filabot will no longer be supplying ABS or PS polymers, with the exception of ABSFR. This decision came down to a few simple facts. First off, there are other polymers that perform better, if not the same as ABS or PS such as the PLA grades that we currently supply. The second fact is that ABS and PS contains styrene. Styrene is still being debated as a carcinogen. (1) Lastly, as we have read in reports and experienced ourselves, first-hand exposure to ABS emits very high levels of VOCs during filament extrusion and 3D printing. VOCs are all around coming from many products that you use daily, when it comes to VOCs less is best.
What does this mean for our extrusion equipment?
Our extruders work with ABS and PS and we will continue to test and support these materials performance in the units, however, we will no longer be supplying these materials to our customers. In the case of ABS and PS, these materials require extra setup and precautions if they have to be used in your printing application. Our goal with our hardware is to provide access to recycling and to process the widest range of polymers for 3D printing.
Considerations for working with ABS and PS
If you have to work with ABS or PS it is not the end of the world. We are still going to be using these materials in house for projects that require the properties that these materials have. When we work with these materials we will have a Carbon and HEPA filter system moving and capturing the air near the extruder and 3D printer. We will also make sure that the air in the room is being changed with fresh air.
For more information check out these articles and links for general health information on 3D printing.
3Dprintingindustry.com states that “The ideal solution would be using an air ventilation system capable of moving three times the room’s volume of air in one hour.” (2)
We are happy to announce the latest upgrade to our Filabot Spooler the Filabot Stepper Motor Traverse! This new design replaces the DC motor and mechanical switch with a stepper motor and optical limit switch greatly extending the running life of your traverse as compared to the current design. We are happy to announce it’s new features including reverse compatibility with previous models current customers may upgrade, ATMEGA based control board running open source programming, significantly more consistent speed control and actuation accuracy, and is designed for future feature expansion. This new upgrade is user-friendly to install and when it is released all-new spoolers will ship with this upgrade. Be on the lookout for this new upgrade coming soon!
Today students from Spaulding High School visited our shop to learn about different career paths one can take. During their stay, we showed them our different products, gave them a test run of our extruder systems, showed them our 3D printers, and showed the students the failed 3D prints we recycle. Lastly, we conducted a student panel where we all shared our experiences that informed the students about our career paths. One of the highlights of our panel was that our High School Interns successfully presented the work they have done to us and their fellow classmates. Getting involved with schools and participating with the community we are a part of is the least we can do to foster career paths for students.
This is an update about the Filabot Reclaimer. We are still moving along with the progress of the reclaimer. We are finalizing the last of the aesthetic touch-ups to the product as well as adding to the leg support. We have started to work with our assembly and fulfillment company to wrap up a few remaining items.
We have finished up wrapping and shipping solutions. Standard carriers can ship the reclaimer.
Lastly, we have a question for the reader. Currently, with the Reclaimer, we are trying to find solutions for a regrind catch. The goal is to find a solution that can successfully catch the most materials. We are looking to storage bags, they are low cost, reusable, and can be vacuumed sealed. This, of course, is one path, if you, have any suggestions let us know! We are happy to hear any suggestions.
In today's blog post we wanted to discuss and talk about the different nozzles we have. Recently we have put out for sale our new extended nozzles available for both the EX2 and the EX6.
These nozzles come in both 2x and 3x the length from the standard nozzles. These nozzles are the perfect addition to anyone who owns one of our systems and is looking to expand their filament extrusion beyond hobby making and will allow those in research and development to start making a more precise filament.
We are moving along with the progress of the reclaimer. Right now we are exploring the safety design, reviewing the hoppers and guards making sure that the safety switch works when in use. Our aesthetics are nearly complete, we have our reclaimer matching in color with our EX6 and has a slick rounded frame (body). Our production drawings are in the works and are part of the next steps in successfully onboarding our reclaimer for your use!
We will be getting more updates about the reclaimer this week, so be on the lookout for new posts!
Here at Filabot, we are all about giving back to the community. Donating filament to the Aldrich Library was the least we could do for a community that provides so much for its people in Barre VT. The Aldrich Library provides a wide range of classes and services which includes job hunting guides, knitting classes, and even parenting classes.
What interested us the most about the Aldrich Library is the STEAM program that runs from February to May for 4th-5th graders. Here they experiment with science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. We were happy to learn that the library has a Lulzbot that is used during STEAM and by anyone in the community. When we arrived they were making chess pieces for the chess club they offer.
Our hope at Filabot is that the Barre community can use the filament to create anything they want with a 3D printer. Whether that's a Game of Thrones business card holder or a bookmark, it's up to their imagination to do so.
Testing of the Reclaimer is complete. We are working towards updating a few items that came up during testing. The next steps are to cross off a few remaining prototypes design features. This being the hopper, guards, and aesthetic design. A meeting on Monday is being held to update the timeline as testing did take longer than planned.
Testing regrind in the extruders is progressing well. Having a product lineup that works seamlessly together is key here. We are finding that particle size in our system is a critical step in making high quality in tolerance filament. We are working to expand these solutions.
We are working towards finishing aesthetics on the grinder, be on the lookout for new posts!
We are in the home stretch of launching the Filabot Reclaimer to the world. It has been a long winding road but the end is in sight. As of this update, the Filabot Reclaimer prototype is chomping away at failed prints turning them into usable grindings for our extruder systems. This week engineering is warping up mechanical strength testing, making sure all parts fit, checking for clearance issues, and other design related functionality. If all goes well next week production design will be started and wrapped up. This part of the timeline includes enclosure design and aesthetics, user ergonomics, and packaging for shipping.
As for the price, and usage features we are going to keep that under wraps until we have final confirmation of the specifications. We will be providing weekly updates to the progress of the Filabot Reclaimer. Stay tuned for more updates and the final release date.