Filabot wee assembled

Tyler McNaney of Vermont's Filabot has announced the availability of the Filabot Wee. Like the original Filabot funded on Kickstarter at the beginning of 2012, the Filabot Wee is a thermoplastic filament extruder – a device that converts raw plastic into filament that can be used in a 3D printer.

The Wee is not exactly the same extruder as the crowd funded Filabot. The first Filabot, which came to be known as the Filabot Core, only recently started shipping to Kickstarter backers and won't be available on the Filabot web site until later this year. Once the Core enters the retail channel, it will have a metal enclosure and come fully assembled. Alternatively, the Wee is an open source kit with a wood enclosure.

Filabot Wee kit

Both the Core and the new Wee will be compatible with the soon-to-be-released Filabot Reclaimer, a grinder designed to recycle common household plastics such as PET into material that can be fed into a Filabot. Of course, the Reclaimer will also be useful for salvaging filament from print jobs that go wrong.

The Filabot Wee kit comes either welded ($649) or unwelded ($620). It can make both 1.75 and 3.0 mm filament at a rate of 5-20 inches per minute, depending on the plastic and diameter. Its standard input materials are ABS and PLA pellets, which are less expensive by weight than pre-extruded filament.