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Weed wacker line as 3D printing filament

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Weed wacker string available

5lb spool is 2.27 kg so $30/5lbs ~ $13/kg; most commercial 3-D printer filament runs $18-50+/kg for comparison.

Type of string Cost per kilogram (most cost effective option) Thickness (diameter, mm) Source
Magnum Gatorline™ Dual Polymer String Trimmer Line (5-lb. spool) $31.35 2.032
Magnum Gatorline™ Dual Polymer String Trimmer Line (5-lb. spool) $30.86 2.413
Cross-Fire 282 ft. 0.095 in. Premium Nylon Trimmer Line (1-lb. pack) $34.57 2.413
Magnum Gatorline™ Dual Polymer String Trimmer Line (5-lb. spool) $30.86 2.667
Magnum Gatorline™ Dual Polymer String Trimmer Line (5-lb. spool) $30.86 3.302
Magnum Gatorline™ Dual Polymer String Trimmer Line (5-lb. spool) $30.86 3.937
Magnum Gatorline™ Dual Polymer String Trimmer Line (5-lb. spool) $30.86 4.318
Maxpower 333665 Residential Grade Round .065-Inch Trimmer Line 1800-Foot Length-- round shaped line made from sturdy nylon components (available in Nicaragua) $16.16 (price in USA), $97.13 (approximate price in Nicaragua) 1.651

How to Modify MOST Delta to Use it

Print settings

Printing with nylon

The website above (a blog by Jeremie Francois) has good tips on printing with nylon and a bit about trimmer line as well. The main points are summarized below:

  • For solid prints, use 238 degrees C at 50 mm/s maximum.
  • Reducing the print temperature can work if the speed is also reduced.
  • To keep objects from warping, add a raft or a brim around the object.
  • Drying the nylon can increase the quality of prints, and this can be done by storing the spool and packets of silica gel in a transparent sealed plastic box and leaving it in the sunlight.
  • Glue the bed to avoid the prints popping off during printing.

Printing with weed wacker trimmer line

Using the Maxpower trimmer line and a TAZ Lulzbot printer, the following settings work to make decent quality prints:

Printing temperature: 235 degrees C

  • Bed temperature: 70 degrees C
  • Gluing the bed (using something as simple as an Elmer's glue stick) makes the prints stick better as well
  • Print speed: 40 mm/s
  • Fan: An outside fan was used to cool the object printing, which sometimes would lower the temperature of the nozzle/extruder to temperatures as low as 215 degrees C. Because of this, the fan had to be turned on and off periodically so the extrusion temperature wasn't too low.

The quality of the prints using these settings isn't great. After the first couple of layers, the material starts to "bubble" out of its defined layers.

For taller, skinny objects

To make one cylinder 60 mm tall with a 2.5 mm radius, two of these objects were printed side by side. When both objects were about 0.5 cm tall, one was forced to fail. While the other printed normally, all the extra material extruded for the failed cylinder was taken away manually. This made for a relatively high quality print with the weed wacker line.