[Proper Printing] has been trying to 3D print rims for his car for some time. However, the size of the print has created problems with spools of filament running out before completion. This created endless headaches trying to join several smaller lengths of filament to make a single larger spool. After his initial attempts at hand failed, a rig was built to bring some consistency to the process. (Video, embedded below.)
The rig consists of a heating block designed to melt the ends of two pieces of filament so that they can be fused together. A cheap set of brass calipers has been modified with a tube to form a guide for the filament to ensure it connects neatly without flaring up to a larger size. Fan coolers are then placed on either side of the heating area to avoid turning the entire filament into a hot mess.
Unfortunately the rig just didn’t work. The original design just never made the filament hot enough, with the suspicion that heat was instead directed into the calipers rather than the filament itself. Modifications to reduce this unfortunately didn’t help, and in the end more success was achieved simply by holding a lighter under a piece of brass tubing.
Although the project was unsuccessful, learning along the way is still valuable. We cannot see any fundamental reason why such a rig could not work. So if you have any ideas on how to improve it, check out the comments. We’ve also seen other successful builds with hair straighteners in a relatively simple setup.
[Thanks to Baldpower for the tip!]