a

$40k Desktop Factory Competition to make on demand manufacturing a commercial reality


Before we get into the big announcement...here's a little background.

3D printing has been around for over 20 years.  It's a process where you take a digital computer file and "print" out a plastic part layer by layer.  In recent years the price of these machines has come down to a few thousand dollars and this year we saw the birth of one that cost $499.  If you aren't familiar with 3D printing check out this video.

At Inventables we think these machines are going to change the world.  We sell the plastic that goes inside of them on spools.  The process to make the plastic spools is expensive.  We think if the plastic was cheaper, the UI was simpler, and you could just "press print" for the product you want you would start to see these machines on every desktop.  At that time the machines would start to look prettier and more like something you would want to have in your house.

We want this to happen faster.

Today, May 19th 2012, Inventables, the Kauffman Foundation and Maker Faire announced the launch of The Desktop Factory Competition, a global competition to democratize 3D printing. In this competition, teams will design an open source machine capable of making plastic resin pellets fit for use in a low cost 3D printer. The announcement was made at Maker Faire in the GE Garage.

Here are the specifics from our press release:
The Problem:
Low cost 3D printing is an emerging market.  Competitors including Makerbot, Printrbot, Solidoodle, and Ultimaker sell machines for $399-$2200.  These machines require extruded plastic filament that costs about $40-$54 per kg.  This is between 5-10 times the cost of the raw resin pellets.  To get widespread adoption of the technology the cost of using the machines will need to go down.

The Challenge:
Drive down the cost of filament by creating a new machine.  The first team/person to build an open source filament extruder for less than $250 in components can take ABS or PLA resin pellets, mix them with colorant, and extrude enough 1.75mm diameter +/- .05mm filament that can be wrapped on a 1kg spool.  This filament needs to be capable of being used in a 3D printer. 

At Inventables we will verify the BOM posted matches the machine sent. We will order all the parts from suppliers and attempt to build it ourselves. We will then run the machine and verify it meets the criteria listed on the challenge. After we are done with the evaluation we will send the machine back if you wish.

The competition will end when the first person sends in a valid solution. If the clock runs out before then we will likely extend the time frame. The decision will be based on what the state of the art solutions for 3D printers look like at that time.


The winner of the competition will be objectively determined by the first one to upload a solution here http://desktopfactory2012.istart.org/

The Reward:
The winning team will receive $40,000 plus a laser cutter, 3D printer, and CNC milling machine.
“There is a dire need to improve access to 3D printing globally, low cost digital fabrication will improve the way we design and buy products because it will reduce the financial risk and waste associated with holding inventory.” said Zach Kaplan, CEO of Inventables. “The competition will incent the creation of technologies that can drop the price of the plastic required for 3D printing machines from around $50 dollars per kilogram to around $5.”
By launching this incentivized competition, the Inventables, the Kauffman Foundation, and Maker Faire seek to make on demand local and home based manufacturing a reality.  

Details for how to enter the competition are posted at http://desktopfactory2012.istart.org/

Other useful information
The input material is ABS and PLA plastic resin pellets. These pellets are small granules generally with shape of a cylinder or a disk with a diameter of a few millimeters. I had some in a bag in our office and just measured them and found they ranged in size from 2mm to 7mm in diameter. The machine needs to work with pellets that come from any big resin pellet manufacturer. Here is a list of manufacturers that make ABS -  and here is one for PLA manufacturers.

The bill of materials cost will be calculated when machines are ordered in quantities of 400. If parts need to be custom manufactured then Inventables will pay for that manufacturing ourselves to verify the machines can actually be manufactured. We understand the bill of materials for these test machines will cost more than it will at 400 units but we will verify the quotes for parts at 400 units meet the $250 limit. For example, if you need 1 foot of a 3 foot bar of aluminum we will divide the cost of buying enough aluminum bar to make 400 machines by 400 units.

For colorants we prefer a dry blend because they don't make as big of a mess but we will accept liquid colorant solutions as well. In industry they call this process a "masterbatch".

Good luck!

Update:
The contest was won by Hugh Lyman.  TIME Magazine did an article covering his winning entry.


55 comments:

Anonymous said...

The popup toolbar thing on the right side of your website is really annoying. You can't select the scroll bar because it is in the way.

Anonymous said...

How was it decided that the tolerance would need to be +/-0.01mm? That is really tight and almost unrealistic. Also, how long does the filament need to be? I'm assuming it must meet the tolerance over the full length. The import filament websites state +/-0.10mm and the makerbot website indicates 1.75/1.8mm. What is the tolerance on the filament inventables sells?

So this filament would need to have a tolerance 10 times tighter than the importers and 2.5 times tighter than makerbot filament and be produced on a machine that costs maybe 400 times less than professional production machines.

I'm asking because I have been considering building a pellet extruder and I'm excited by this challenge but feel this is an unreasonable requirement.

Zach Kaplan said...

Thanks for the feedback. I went into the settings to try and remove it but I can't figure out if that is even possible. I moved them over in the layout but they remain in place. If you go below them and click you can scroll down.

Zach Kaplan said...

This tolerance was determined to ensure the machine could make filament that could be used in a wide variety of printers. We had looked at the Makerbot tolerances and were trying to beat them. I think your comment is reasonable and I will increase the tolerance to +/-.05mm to match the Makerbot filament.

Our goal with this contest is to make the technology widely accessible.

Anonymous said...

Can you please define the input material in a more specific manner? Ie. size of pellet, shape, density, etc. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Does 1.75mm refer to the cross sectional radius or diameter? Must the output cross section be circular?

Anonymous said...

What kind of colorants must the device be able to mix? Can you please go into the specifics?

Zach Kaplan said...

The 1.75mm refers to the outside diameter of the filament. Yes the output cross section must be a circle to work in the existing machines on the market.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reconsidering the tolerance. I think +/-0.05mm will be more than good enough for most printers.

I would still like to know what length of continoius filment needs to be produced by the machine? Enough to fill a 1kg spool, more or less?

I registered at istart, an upon looking at the application found out the machine has to be shipped to inventables for validation. I wanted to find out more details about this process and how the machine will be evaluated?

Also if and when you decide you have a winner will they be announced at that time, or after the competition is finished?

Your offering a serious prize and have posed a real challenge, but we need more details and information so that our efforts are not lost because we didn't meet some unknown criteria.

Zach Kaplan said...

The length of continuous filament that needs to be produced by the machine is enough to fill a 1kg spool. The reason for this is it seems to be the standard size spool most manufacturers are selling.

At Inventables we will verify the BOM posted matches the machine sent. We will order all the parts from suppliers and attempt to build it ourselves. We will then run the machine and verify it meets the criteria listed on the challenge. After we are done with the evaluation we will send the machine back if you wish.

The competition will end when the first person sends in a valid solution. If the clock runs out before then we will likely extend the time frame. The decision will be based on what the state of the art solutions for 3D printers look like at that time.

We are happy to provide any additional detail required, thanks for your interest.

Zach Kaplan said...

The input material is ABS and PLA plastic resin pellets. These pellets are small granules generally with shape of a cylinder or a disk with a diameter of a few millimeters. I had some in a bag in our office and just measured them and found they ranged in size from 2mm to 7mm in diameter. The machine needs to work with pellets that come from any big resin pellet manufacturer. Here is a list of manufacturers that make ABS - http://www.ides.com/info/generics/1/100/Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene-ABS-Manufacturers and here is one for PLA http://www.ides.com/info/generics/34/100/Polylactic-Acid-PLA-Manufacturers

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster above. You guys are leaving a lot of the rules up to interpretation. This will lead to an outraged bunch of contestants when the winner is somebody who decides to weasel around the rules rather than fulfilling the (poorly defined) practical goal.

Zach Kaplan said...

For colorants we prefer a dry blend because they don't make as big of a mess but we will accept liquid colorant solutions as well. In industry they call this process a "masterbatch".

Zach Kaplan said...

I will update the official rules with the answers to the questions posted in the comments area. With these additional specs do you think it is still poorly defined and have concerns or do you think we have addressed the issues that have been raised.

Doug said...

Zach,

I am the original poster with the tolerance questions, my name is Doug. I think this competition will spur on innovation and creativity and create business, which seems to be the basic goals of sponsors. The details of the competition are still lacking and don't give your reward any justice. When I first read this post it seemed like this would just be a marketing tool to generate publicity for the sponsors and no one would win. I think your responsiveness to these posts prove your serious.

I still have a few concerns though.

1. You should clearly define the material and colorants. Your list is good, but here is what I suggest. Choose a supplier for abs, pla and both types of colorants(or maybe just one to make it easier) and decide the specific materials(colors for abs and pla and the color of colorants) Post those but also get the materials to sell them as a "DFC Sample Pack" on inventables. Then everyone is on the same page and can get the same material. Also use only this material for validation.

2. You state that you will buy the components and attempt to build the machine. Are you expecting the machine to be made from only "off the shelf components" that can simply be bolted together to form a working machine? That is unrealistic, if that was possible the entire plastic extrusion industry would be out of business. Even RepRap requires treaded rod to be cut to length unless you buy a specific kit where all the cutting/drilling/fabrication pf parts is done for you. My concern is that any design can be open source but not everyone will be able the produce the parts needed for the machine if the tools needed to do so are unavailable. To what level must the machine be made to ensure a normal person would be able to build the machine without a special kit of pre-made parts? Or does this even matter?

3. Its seems that the cost must be retail value for all components, is that true? So pricing could be different form different suppliers and would be affected by quantity and availability. Will this change how the $250 total is determined. What about raw material cost? For instance, say one part of my machine will use a only a 1ft length of round aluminum bar that costs $20 for 3ft. Will that price be pro-rated? What if I then have to machine that piece on a 4 axis cnc machine to make the final part, will the cost be affected then? What if I just want to drill some holes in a material to make a part, will that change the cost? So if the machine is designed to use $250 worth of raw materials but all the parts must be finished with tools that cost thousands of dollars will that matter?

I hate to say it but if you are serious maybe you should consider postponing the competition until you can consider these things as well as some of the legal aspects of hosting a competition with $50,000 worth of cash and prizes. Maybe check out the official rules pages on Instrucables contests to get some ideas and should probably consider seeking some legal console. I know this would suck but if you really want to do this for the betterment of the 3d printing community it needs to be done the right way.

Zach Kaplan said...

Hi Doug,

Thanks for the feedback. I would like to have a more detailed conversation with you. Please call our office sometime during business hours this week. I am at 312-775-7009.

1. This is an idea that I considered but did not do because I feared that people would think we were using this contest as a way to sell resin from a specific supplier from our store. This is not our goal. We hope that this machine will work with resin from any supplier. ABS and PLA are commodity resins and I don't want these machines to only work from SABIC resin or only work from Polyone resin. The machines need to work for pellets from any vendor. I will consider selling bags of resin pellets that can be used for testing. I think that is a great idea.

2. The parts do not need to be off the shelf. It doesn't say anywhere in the contest rules that parts need to be bought at retail. We need to complete the build and it can use custom manufactured parts. We will order them from a local machine shop if custom parts are needed. This is why it needs to be open source.

3. I will add a provision to the criteria that says the cost will be calculated when machines are ordered in quantities of 400. If parts need to be custom manufactured then we will pay for that manufacturing ourselves to test the machines in small quantities. I realize that our BOM will cost more than it will at 400 units but we will verify the quotes at 400 meet the $250 limit. If you need 1 foot of a 3 foot bar we will divide the cost of buying enough aluminum bar to make 400 machines by 400 units.

I am serious, I appreciate your feedback and we have worked with lawyers on the legal aspects of the competition.

Doug said...

Zack,

That's just the response I was hoping for. I hope you can put these details into some more official form, ie a link to a separate page or pdf of the entire set of updates and add it to the istart page maybe? I'll call you too.

Doug

Anonymous said...

Allowing an unlimited amount of custom machining seems counter to the goals of this contest. If I throw a billet of aluminum at you and some cad drawings with very tight tolerances and complex geometries it is hardly affordable just because the aluminum itself cost less than $250. Either that or you are assuming that potential users have access to a good machine shop at minimal cost which doesn't seem in keeping with the spirit of "desktop fabrication."

I propose that you set $/hr rates for classes of machines that must be added to the final cost. This would likely require an increase in the $250 limit, but would provide an design that is objectively affordable. Furthermore list a set of tools/resources that users are assumed to have (drill, rotary tool, compressed air, basic hand tools, etc). This way a $250 entry that uses basic tools and off the shelf components won't be competing against an entry that uses $250 worth of raw materials and requires paying a machinist $1000s. Speaking of which why are you setting it up so that the first valid entry is the winner rather than the best by the end of the contest period? There are quantitative measurements you can take with a disclosed weight to evaluate entries that would ensure limited bias in judging (production rate, total cost, operational cost, time to setup/operate, tensile strength of filament, etc).

pszy said...

works fine for me...

pszy said...

works fine for me...

Zach Kaplan said...

The $250 in cost will be calculated based on quotes for the material and machining time in units required to make 400 machines. We will send the parts out to quote from multiple vendors to make sure we are getting a reasonable market rate for the parts. We will include vendors we used for manufacturing parts for the Shapeoko CNC Mill because we worked with them before at this volume and they gave very reasonable quotes.

Anonymous said...

I think it looks good with these clarifications.

Doug said...

I thought of one more thing that might help. Its important that the filament be consistent in diameter over its entire length. For abs that maybe something like 1300ft long for a 1kg spool. Measurements of the filament should be taken along this length to ensure the whole thing is within tolerance. You should specify that measurements will be taken every foot or some set distance along the length and that all those measurements need to be in spec. Consistent diameter is important to all the slicing programs because they use it calculate volume, and this directly affects print quality. I read some people are attempting to measure filament diameter as it enters the extruder in order to compensate for differences but I have yet to see a working system.

Also, adding colorant separate from the pellets means they have to mix together. If a machine produces colored filament but that color is not consistent than what? I don't know how to rate color inconsistency, but I know people will most likely want consistent color.

I guess for me all this complexity makes producing filament at home a lost cause. We should really just focus on a extruder that would take pellets instead of filament and print directly from that raw material. We should also just leave the coloring up to the guys who can produce mass quantities of pellets. Then the cost of running a 3d printer will go down, because of cheaper material and you could also just grind up left overs and throw them back in the extruder. For this reason I'm not going to try to build a filament producing machine, but maybe a pellet extruder. Good luck to anyone who enters this competition, if you can truly accomplish this task you deserve the prize. Zach I know we spoke about this, it's your competition run it however you want.

Ben Peters said...

The competition will end when the first person sends in a valid solution?
This is unfortunate as many people have built filament extruders already. I think there is even a successful Kickstarter for one. I started working on a prototype in my shop, but after re-reading the rules, I'm less encouraged to know that this problem has already been solved with the parameters you are looking for on many occasions.

Maybe if you offered a prize for the absolute cheapest design? Or the least parts/most friendly?

Brian Schoolcraft said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Schoolcraft said...

Just to be clear, is the requirement that the machine can produce 1kg of continuous filament? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to also include entries that can make 3mm filament. I bring this up because my Ultimaker runs off 3mm and for me to make 1.75 and not be able to test it fully would not make sense. Both 3mm and 1.75 are widely used and it would make sense to accept both types of entries. Thoughts?

Craig The Fabricator said...

You could always design an extruder that has multiple interchangeable dies.... one for 1.75mm, one for 3mm, etc. Think along the lines of Play-Doh... they used to have a toy called "Fuzzy Pumper" and currently (I think) have one called "Fun Factory".... they both basically have a hand operated "pump" that squeezes the clay through any number of die shapes at the output end. This is obviously an oversimplification, but the basic technique is valid for developing a machine that extrude multiple sizes and shapes.

Some interesting links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anqKC0i0a7Y
http://reprap.org/wiki/Web4Deb_extruder

Anonymous said...

Hi Zach,

Assuming the spec is to produce 1 Kg filament, how long can the machine take to do this? Does the filament need to be automatically wrapped on a spool? Assuming an extruder can be made compact enough to fit on a 3-D printer what would its maximum weight need to be (i.e. 2.2 lbs. of pellets plus the mass of the mechanism--this question being somewhat moot for moving bed printers with a stationary extrusion head)?

Anonymous said...

On 5/23, Doug said:

"I guess for me all this complexity makes producing filament at home a lost cause. We should really just focus on a extruder that would take pellets instead of filament and print directly from that raw material. We should also just leave the coloring up to the guys who can produce mass quantities of pellets. Then the cost of running a 3d printer will go down, because of cheaper material and you could also just grind up left overs and throw them back in the extruder."

I agree with his assessment and would like to know if an extrusion head that could a)use pellets as the raw material and b)use pellets as the raw material AND extrude in color by mixing pellets would be an acceptable solution. If so, what would the max weight of such a device need to be for installing on a moving head 3-D printer. If the 2.2 pounds of uninterrupted extrusion is a necessary goal it is within the realm of mechanism design for the head to carry a compact pellet supply onboard and refill itself from a larger, fixed-location hopper.

Finally, we would need to know what cubic inches per hour of extrusion such a 3-D printer head would need to meet.

Howard said...

How much operator intervention is allowed in the function of the machine? e.g can the colorant be mixed with the pellets by hand, or does there need to be an automated metering system? Can process parameters be adjusted 'by hand' as the machine is operating, or does it need to be autonomous? Can the filament be wound by hand or must be spooled automatically? How about maintenance between cycles - can a plunger be rest by hand, manual disassembly for cleaning, loading the pellets... ? Can the thing be human-powered?!

My point (echoing the sentiments of other posters on this thread) is that there are a lot of details that are not defined, and cast some doubt on the objectivity of your judging process. In the absence of better criteria, the prize will be likely be won by someone submitting an impractical piece of junk that manages to squeeze out 1 kg of resin.

Chris Marion said...

Zach,

Let me start off by saying that I believe that this competition is a wonderful thing - the goal is noble and I couldn't agree with you more. However, I don't think that making the competition a race was the best decision, and I think you should consider changing the style of competition from a race to more of a quality-based contest. I think myself and many other people interested in this contest are capable of throwing something together within a few weeks in an effort to beat the clock based off of existing online ideas and projects, but it simply wouldn't be as good of a product as if we had more time to put some solid R&D into it. Many people (myself included) are spending a lot of time and effort and putting some solid engineering into this challenge, spending lots of money for custom machined parts and trying to replicate the quality and speed of industrial processes accurately and cheaply on a desktop scale.

I've been working quite feverishly on this challenge for several weeks now, as I know several others have been as well. However, only days after this competition was created, the creator of the Filabot submitted to the contest. I'm not trying to rain on the Filabot's parade - I absolutely love the idea behind the product and being able to recycle old plastic products. However, this really isn't fair to the rest of the world, since if the Filabot meets the contest specs, all of the work done by everyone else will be invalidated, and the contest was essentially over a week after it began.

I think the best thing to do would be to change the spirit of the competition to go from a race to quality-based. It's really in the best interest of the entire open-source desktop printing community.. would you rather have a single winner after a week, or several months of highly motivated people (I'd say the prizes are pretty darn motivating!) working on all sorts of ideas, refining them over the course of the summer to produce the equivalent of the next RepRap project?

If you're interested, I can talk a little more about my ideas - just let me know. I hope you consider this alternate point of view. No matter what happens, we all have the same goal in mind - to lower the cost of 3D printing and to speed adoption around the entire world.

-Chris Marion

Paul Dutch said...

Seems that direct contact with Zach is through this page so I'll give it a whirl.
Would be good to see some kind of communication channel directly onto the Istart page regarding the competition rather than here.

I am guessing that you are emulating the "X prize" with regards to how the competition is defined. Ie. first person to get to the finish line is the winner. I have no problems with that.
I do however have a problem with the definition of where the finish line is.
There is the cost definition and the tolerance definition but they are very loosely defined.
A machine that might cost $200 here in New Zealand might cost $400 in the US.. And only $50 in China..
And as per the above comments, are we filling a whole roll of ABS/PLA and the tolerance goes over the whole length? Do we have to roll the filament automatically for that matter?

Also seems to be a squeeze (excuse the pun) towards the 1.75mm rather than 3mm. Is this because there is some affiliation with the MakerBot people?
The Ultimaker seems to be a far superior machine but takes a 3mm filament. 3mm it would seem, results in better prints.

Another cheeky question I thought I'd throw in there as well.. Why is the cash "grant" not on the Kaufmann page where the cash prize comes from? Is that because the Istart page belongs to the Foundation?

Thanks!

Paul Dutch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

Paul Dutch said...

I can make up from the Istart website that currently 13 teams or individuals have actually entered the competition.

One description of an entry:
"Here is the initial video of extruding filament. The machine is basically black steel pipe, a masonry drill bit, a union fitting, radial ball bearing, and a hand drill."

It seems that the time driven competition combined with the loose goal definitions is causing people to send in solutions that are very utilitarian. And since they would comply to the goal description of the competition they could very well be in to win the prize.

Is this the goal of the competition or is the goal to inspire more sophisticated and real world, commercially saleable solutions?

Regards,
Paul

PS: thanks for moderating and showing my comments. But please could we have an official communication channel to the competition?

Zach Kaplan said...

Hi Paul, the moderation happens to prevent spam or inappropriate comments from being posted. The goal of the competition was to advance the state of the art in low cost filament extrusion to reduce the cost of plastic required for 3D printing. The reason we went with a prospective prize was to be able to objectively declare a winner.

Paul Dutch said...

Hi Zach,
Thanks for the answers.

You do understand though where quite a few of the posters above are coming from right?
I mean, we do appreciate you guys creating a brilliant challenge like this one and coming up with substantial funds to be able to give us an incentive to go for it.
But the definition of the competition is such that an entry like the one above that I quoted the description out of, would be able to attain the competition goals. But is it really what you're looking for?
Also, the communication about what is happening or supposed to happen, is not quite there. If you were following the X-prize model, at least we could see what each one of us is up against as the status of projects of teams gets updated there regularly. But in this competition, for all we know, the Filabot entry is already up to scratch and doing what you asked us to come up with. Or the entry with the screw drill solution for that matter. Not much use for us to enter then and spend a lot of effort on this.

Again, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

Regards,
Paul

Zach Kaplan said...

I Paul, I said "was" because I meant when the the competition was conceived. There have been 18 entries and 3 teams have published plans and a video of an open source machine. No machines have been received by Inventables yet.

Anonymous said...

just have a question,if we order a part on the internet to use on building the extruder do we add shipping to the cost also on the bom,what about labor on machining,if i have an hour of machining done at the local machine shop it will cost a lot more per part than if i was getting 400 made,can we just calculate an hourly fee.

Zach Kaplan said...

Yes, you must add shipping in your landed cost for the part. You also must include labor in machining. You need to calculate the cost of the labor at 400 units per the contest rules.

Anonymous said...

So I looked back here because I was wondering who had won the competition, but as far as I can tell, there hasn't been a winner yet, and so the competition has been expanded to run for a full year. Is this right?

If so, is it still possible for me to participate in this competition?

Thanks.

Zach Kaplan said...

The competition is still running. We have had 3 submissions. Two did not meet the criteria and the third is under review. The third machine has passed all the tests and we are currently testing if it will mix the colors. If the color mixing works we will have a winner.

Anonymous said...

When will the review be complete then?

Zach Kaplan said...

We have parts but we need to verify some information on the data sheet from the resin supplier before we annonce the results. We are waiting for that information.

Anonymous said...

I have just found out about this i was wondering how long till you have a winner because I would like to get a start on it things like his only take me about 2 weeks to make and about 50-75$ if you could get back soon that would be great

webannie said...

What do I mean by a desktop factory? I mean a group of machines which can fit on a desk or into it, which can cut, print,mold, scan and http://ogibogi.com/node/2245 for details.

Bartek Bulzak said...

Popup brakes the scrollbar for me in Chrome.

Anonymous said...

It is really unfortunate that this competition was run with so little continuing information as it went forward. The comment section on one buried blog post is hardly a place to run a competition worth $40k.
We are currently on machine version 3 with many many hours and several hundred dollars invested in a entry which should melt plastic at many times the throughput and only found out about a winner through a hard to find news site.

Zach kaplan said...

The winner was announced today - http://techland.time.com/2013/03/04/how-an-83-year-old-inventor-beat-the-high-cost-of-3d-printing/?iid=tl-main-lead

Zach kaplan said...

We emailed updates to all registered teams as updates came in.

CornGolem said...

Winner got his money, now what do we do with the list of parts ?

Zach kaplan said...

You can build the machine yourself. Also companies are free to take the design and manufacture one for sale.

Jacqui Pearson said...

What has happened with this?? Has anyone succeeded in making a machine?? If there is one, it would be great to modify it enough to also make acetate filament.

Zach Kaplan said...

Yes Hugh Lyman won with the Lyman Extruder. Check out the TIME Magazine article titled "How an 83-Year-Old Inventor Beat the High Cost of 3D Printing"