Additive Manufacturing Strategies

EasyWelder Tool Allows You to Make More & Waste Less, Linking 3D Printing Filament Pieces 

ST Medical Devices

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three - making O-rings with NinjaflexEasyWelder is, quite simply, an exceptional idea for making larger 3D prints and other projects without wasting extra filament, as well as being able to fulfill other functions. By being able to connect longer pieces of filament, one–you can have some fun with this cool new gizmo–and two, you have more options, further opening the doors to making items, while not wasting one bit of filament from a spool.

There can be a number of reasons you may want to weld filament pieces together, but for the creator of this product there was a simple need. Bodet Ludovic of France wanted to create an O-ring, and simply couldn’t find a good method for doing so. As an inventor and member of the I3D Innovation team, he was inclined to take matters into his own hands and make an easier way–just as he did working with the I3D team to make the EasyFix.

The resulting EasyWelder is a perfect demonstration of what drives the making community–creative individuals motivated by their own 3D design and printing needs, who are willing to share—offering benefit to all who want to:

  • Print large parts
  • Reduce filament waste
  • Combine different colors and filament materials
  • Save money
Bodet Ludovic

Bodet Ludovic, of France

Allowing you to weld and link together filament, the kit comes complete with a holding grip so that filament is held tightly in place during the welding process. Simply a way of bonding two items together, welding operates through heat. Applying this concept, the EasyWelder gripper offers two heating tips, coated with an anti-adhesive layer that you can control and adjust electronically, performing at temps from 100° to 200° C. You can check out how to use this tool in Ludovic’s Instructable.

With results in just a matter of several minutes, it’s as easy as heating up the tips, inserting the filament into the holding plate, putting in the anti-adhesive paper, and heating for seven seconds if you are using 1.75mm filament, or 20-25 seconds if you are using 3mm. Once it has cooled, the anti-adhesive paper is removed and you are then able to debur and remove the welded filament from the holding plate. The last step is to inspect and scrape the filament, making sure the diameter is good and that the filament does not break when you attempt to bend it.

“Use the flat portion of the EasyWelder tip to round the weld,” advises Ludovic. “If necessary, slightly squeeze the yarn on all sides.”

FJI5NF4I9O1G4V7.MEDIUMWelding areas are calibrated to 1.7mm and 3mm diameter, and afterward, you will have to do some trimming.  You can use the tool on the following materials:

  • PVA
  • ABS
  • HIPS
  • NinjaFlex and similar filaments
  • PEG
  • Nylon

It’s stressed that while welding the filament together is never quite as strong as 3D printing seamless pieces, EasyWelder does offer you a fantastic method for connecting stray pieces or functioning as an extender in many cases. The pieces of filament being welded together were tested by handyman and inventor Ludovic during 3D printing and showed proper tensile strength, as well as resistance to bending.

The EasyWelder will be available from I3D Innovation for €69, assuming there’s enough interest. To get your name on their reservations list (they’ll launch production once 100 reservations are received), just contact the team.

Is the EasyWelder a tool you need? Have you been looking for something for helping in making O-rings? Discuss in the 3D Printing Filament Welding Tool forum thread over at 3DPB.com. Check out the video below showing use of the EasyWelder.

two - EasyWelder and holding plate

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