Fabrication of Extrudate Filaments from Waste Polyethylene Terephthalate Plastics for 3D Printers
The use of 3D printers for manufacturing processes comes with the challenge of filament replacement for subsequent processes. This aforementioned including the environmental problems posed by plastics wastes formed the basis for the current work which is focused on design and construction of a simple single extruder for the production of filaments from waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics for rapid prototyping machines and 3D printers. Three Band heaters were used to melt the PET plastics and a screw was used to move the melted PET plastics longitudinally along the barrel. The screw is consisted of three zones namely feed zone, compression zone and metering zone. The temperature of the band heaters is controlled by a Digital temperature controller. This paper describes the design, fabrication and testing of a filament extruder. A 2mm die was used to extrude the filament to1.75 mm. The performance of the system was quantified through relevant tests and the findings reported. When the barrel and die assembly are at 200°C, melting begins to occur and at 230°C, the extrudate begins to appear at the metering zone. The energy efficiency of the system was found out to be 75.2%.
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