Additive Manufacturing Strategies

DIY Universal Filament Filter Keeps Your 3D Printer Clean and Lubricated

ST Medical Devices

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ex3There are so many interesting methods to improve the performance, as well as durability, of a 3D printer. This is an emerging industry, thus many innovations, discoveries and improvements in the way things are done are constantly being discovered. It’s oftentimes the small improvements, and ideas which make the biggest differences.

This is certainly the case with a little contraption called the Universal Filament Filter, created by a company based in Sweden called Creative Tools. The main part is so small that it can be 3D printed in under one hour. What it does, is help to clean and lubricate filament use in an FFF/FDM 3D printer.

Once the main part is printed, a tiny piece of foam, or a sponge, should be cut to dimensions approximately the size of the 3D printed part. This piece can then be pushed into the hole within the filter. Once this is done, you are ready to feed the end of a spool of filament in through the hole, making sure it goes directly through the sponge situated inside, and out the other end. It may make it easier to cut off a little piece of filament on an angle, so that the end of the spool is sharp and can more easily pass though the sponge.  Now, just add a little bit of mineral oil, which can be found at almost any convenience store, to the sponge, and you are ready to go.

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The filament filter should be placed somewhere in the area between the spool and the extruder, so that the filament which is fed into the extruder first passes through the filter. If you have a 3D printer which encases the filament within a tube, then make sure to place the filament filter somewhere between the spool and the tube.ex5

What the filter does, is lubricate the filament, while also cleaning any dust or other particles from it. In doing so, you will reduce the strain on the extruder’s motor, making it last longer and perform better. Additionally, the filter will prevent clogging of the extruder caused by dirty or dusty filament, an all too common problem users run into with desktop 3D printers.

Creative tools, a reseller of 3D printers, 3D modelling software, accessories and parts has decided to make the 3D model for the filter available for free download on Thingiverse. Let us know if you have made this valuable little tool. Post some pictures and your feedback within the Universal Filament Filter forum thread on 3DPB.com. Below is a quick video tutorial showing the filter being made.

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