UIC-2019-112 – 3-D Printer Filament Splicer

Additive manufacturing has changed the way rapid prototyping is performed by engineers with the creation of affordable, effective, and easy to use 3-D printers. Makerspaces have exploded in popularity across the globe – user-reported numbers show nearly 1400 active spaces, 14 time as many as in 2006. University makerspaces utilize 3-D printers to provide engineering students with a means for prototyping their designs. One unresolved issue in 3D printing: how to reduce the waste from the last portion of filament materials from the filament spools—often 10% of the materials are tossed as unusable feedstock. UIC inventions have designed a handheld device which allows the user of a 3D printing system to effortlessly splice different filament materials and colors together—eliminating all filament waste. Two pieces of filament are placed on the heating block (heated to 220°C) which melts and bonds the pieces of filament together. Mark Krivchenia krivchen@otm.uic.edu (312) 996-6626

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