My uncle and I are setting up a production sized filament extruder. The intention is for this to be for the use of the makeshift. The guts of iR will be a 1" bore extruder with a 10' chiller bath, a motor driven puller, inline cutter, and a dual spindle motorized spool winder. It will be a hodge podge of old equipment my uncle has in his warehouse that was configured for making window profile excursions. We also have a small grinder and blender. We are moving all the equipment to his shop space this morning. Hoping we can get everything assembled an ready to test in a week or so.
If anyone has a stockpile of scrap the would like turned back into filament, let me know
Lots of people have tried the recycled path, for the cost of virgin material I think you would be wasting your time trying to recycle failed prints, since every time plastic is heated and cooled you loose chemical properties. I know when I was in the rotational molding industry we could only use a small percentage of regrind material because it effected the end products characteristics. but since you have been in the extrusion business maybe there is a way to add whatever back into the regrind stuff to make it able to extrude and keep the characteristics/durablility.
I have a small Lyman type extruder that I have made to use virgin material, and when looking at building this my research led me to stray away from trying to recycle material and re - extrude it.
Moisture is a big issue also that our printers do not like to extrude filament that is water cooled, for end use extrusions water cooled is not a problem but when you re-extrude it through the printer moisture is your enemy. I think most filament suppliers dont use water cooling for this reason.
It would also be great to have a local filament supplier that was cost effective/top quality .
this is just my 2 cents that I have found, look forward to see your progress.
The recycled content would be kept relatively low versus virgin material. When I worked injection molding, I think the max recycled content they would put in was around 10%. That was over 20yrs ago though, and my memory isn't that great.
We have a large dryer as well, and from what I've been able to find, water cooling ABS filament shouldn't be an issue as long as it spends sufficient time in the dryer afterwards. Water cooling PLA of course would not be a good idea. We got the 2" extruder up and running last weekend. It needs a little work (forward/reverse is wired backwards on the speed controller, needs a new nozzle heater and an extruder nozzle) but it is a good old European extruder that should do the job nicely. The 8' cooling line and chiller are already functional from their prior use and just need hooked back up.
The machine we were planning to use as a puller on the other hand is questionable and needs some heavy modification, or we need to go digging through all the stuff at his old Selmer building and find another candidate machine. We need to grab a cutter for the end of the line anyways....
Should be able to get the line up and running within a few weeks (limited amount of time to work on it). Then we still need to get a motor and speed controller onto the spooler and get it operational.
At that point, we'll just need material and spools. If we actually get going with this, my uncle also has a couple of small injection mold presses. We could get a mold made and make our own spools too.... He's also got several more extruders. If it's profitable, we could get several filament lines up and running.