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The Nurdle community forums provide a place to discuss activities and equipment related to the Nurdle project as well as other related recycling and educational initiatives and opportunities.

  2. Hardware
  3. Wednesday, 13 March 2019
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The extruder used on the 3D printer is an important part of the recycling workflow. To use a traditional filament style extruder our harvested plastic would first need to be converted into filament. If we replace this with an extruder that can process nurdles or even irregular plastic shards directly from the granulating process, then we can eliminate the need to convert it into filament, saving time and money as well as reducing emissions and energy wastage. It also saves yet another heat cycle for the plastic which effectively doubles the amount of time that the plastic can be recycled.

The guys at Metabolizer have already been experimenting with pellet style extruders with a lot of success and have released the basic design of thier unit.


Their design is inspired by the granule extruder made by Richard Horne (RichRap). I've always liked RichRaps designs since building his 3DR Delta printer many years ago.

The Metabolizer extruder design is slightly different from the RichRap design in that it is aimed at producing lower resolution prints at a faster rate. This is a result of using a larger auger to drive the extruder; 13mm compared to the 6mm auger used by RichRap, however this large size does mean that larger plastic 'flakes' can be utilised. By their own admission it is early days with the extruder design so improvements to quality may be possible.

We feel that the Metabolizer extruders ability to accept the larger granule size is a benefit as it eliminates one of the processes, which not only simplifies the recycling workflow but also has both cost and emissions savings. Adopting this particular extruder for our project will also hopefully further refine the results it can produce by it's continued use and improvement.
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