As you probably already know, there are two main filament sizes in 3D printing, 1.75mm & 3mm. Many people wonder whether you can actually convert a 3mm filament down to a 1.75mm filament to successfully use in a compatible 3D printer. This article will guide you in that process.
The best way to convert 3mm filament to 1.75mm filament is to either shred the filament into small pieces and use it as granulate in a filament making machine, or use a machine that has a 3mm input and 1.75mm filament output, specially-made for 3D printer filament.
There aren’t many simple ways to convert 3mm filament to 1.75mm filament, and it’s usually not worth the hassle. If you are still interested in making this a project, then read on to explore further.
How to Convert a 3mm 3D Printer to use 1.75mm Filament
The reason people usually want to convert from 3mm to 1.75mm filament is mainly because of the wide range of filaments that are specifically made in this size. Several exotic, composite, and advanced materials solely come in 1.75mm diameter.
If you want to make use of them, you’re going to need a 3D printer which can handle 1.75mm filament, which is where the conversion comes in.
This video is a guide for the LulzBot Mini 3D printer.
To convert a 3mm 3D printer to 1.75mm 3d printer, you don’t actually require a lot of stuff.
The only new thing that you are required to buy for the conversion to 1.75mm is a hot end that is suitable for 1.75mm filament. The tools and stuff you are required are given below:
- A 4mm drill
- Wrench (13mm)
- Hex or L-key (3mmm & 2.5mm)
- PTFE tubing (1.75mm)
These will help you disassemble your extruder from the hot-end assembly. You should already have more of these tools as they are required to assemble the 3D printer in the first place.
You will require a bit of PTFE tubing of the 4mm kind, which is actually the standard Bowden sizing for 1.75mm extruders.
There is a great guide on how to convert an Ultimaker 2 to 3D print 1.75mm filament by Adafruit.
Ways to Convert 3mm Filament to 1.75mm Filament
There are many ways when it comes to converting the 3mm filament to 1.75mm filament. I will be listing some ways which you can use to convert your filaments.
Build Machine with 3mm Input & 1.75mm Output
It requires expertise to build your own machine, and without a professional hand, you can mess it up pretty bad.
But keep on reading; the next section will give you the details.
This is something interesting that requires professionalism and expertise; otherwise, it could end up as a mess.
What you can do is build your own machine, which can take a 3mm input filament and extrudes at the capacity of 1.75mm.
The video above showcases the project.
But remember, it would be difficult for the average person without expertise in engineering to build a machine like this. Gather some knowledge before you start building your own 3D filament customized machine.
Cut Filament into Granulates for a Filament Making Machine
This process is simple and does not require much technique. What you need to do is as follows:
- Cut the filament into small pieces.
- Put it into the filament making machine
- Start the machine and wait.
- The machine will give you the filament of your desired diameter.
The good thing about these machines is that you can even recycle the used filaments through them. It will help you in getting the right sized filament easily.
Filastruder is a platform that can help you in getting hands-on all kinds of hardware accessories that you need for 3D printing.
It has Filament conversion tools, slice engineering tools, electronics, filaments, and other hardware products.
You can find different products related directly to filaments, such as a Gearmotor, Filawinder, Nozzle, and other spare and useful parts.
The Filastruder is a device that can help you in producing filament on demand. This Filastruder meets the needs of yours when it comes to making your own filament.
It has an aluminum alloy chassis, an upgraded motor (Model- GF45), and an upgraded hopper.
The Filastruder comes with one of three types of filament:
- Undrilled (You can drill it to your preferred sized)
- Drilled for 1.75mm
- Driller for 3mm.
The Filastruder goes really well with the ABS, PLA, HDPE, LDPE, TPE, etc. However, the majority of the people use it to get a 1.75mm filament.
Through this, you can get the desired type of filament, whether you directly want a filament with a 1.75mm diameter or you want to go for something else.
Trade or Sell Your 3mm Filament
There is another way for the conversion of 3mm filament to 1.75 filaments and that is through trade. What you can do is trade it with someone else on the online platform who is willing to sell a 1.75mm filament.
Moreover, you can sell your used filament spool on eBay, and the money you will receive from it can be used in buying a 1.75mm filament.
The trading filament can save you money, and you do not have to worry about the filament that you are not using because of the wrong size.
Pros & Cons of Converting From 3mm to 1.75mm Filament
Actually, there are advantages and disadvantages to each size.
3mm is stiffer, making it slightly easier to work with for Bowden type setups and flexible materials, though flex+Bowden still doesn’t work all that great.
However, the larger size gives you less control over extrusion flow, since for a given stepper motor micro step size and gear ratio, you’ll move less linear filament if the filament diameter is smaller.
Additionally, some very exotic filaments are only available in 1.75mm (FEP, PEEK, and a few others), though for most users this is not a concern.
Overall, the conversion of filament sounds good and easy, but it is more than just a conversion. Sometimes you need to buy some extra parts to make it happen. However, all the ways explained above gives you an idea of how you can make the conversion.