Filabot EX6 and Filabot EX2 Comparison
The Filabot EX6 and the Filabot EX2 are both filament extruders designed to make filament for use in 3D printers. The EX2 is designed as an affordable option for mid-level operations, while the EX6 is created for research and development laboratories, that need to test new polymer mixtures while also allowing for higher volume production. In this article, we dive into the specifications to help assist with selecting the right system for your application.
Filament Production and Runtime
The EX2 can extrude 2 pounds of filament per hour and the EX6 can extrude over 10 pounds per hour. So if you need to make more filament for your customers, EX6 provides an advantage. Also, you need to consider the runtime and cool-off periods of the two systems. The EX2 can run for 4 hours at a time. After that, you will have to let it cool and come back to equilibrium or room temperature. Without cool-off in EX2, heat creeps can cause your pallets to perform differently, in turn needing more turning of the controls. On the other hand, because the EX6 has thermally isolated heat zones with fans for custom heat profiles, you can run the EX6 continuously. The runtime limitation allows the EX2 to produce 12 pounds per day, while the continuously working EX6 can produce 240 pounds per day. So your filament production requirements can be used as one of the criteria for selecting the right system.
Types of Polymer
The type of polymer you can use will depend on the system. The EX2 works with a narrower range of plastics. It can handle ABS, ABS Flame Retardant, 4043D PLA, 3D850 PLA, 3D870 PLA, PC, HIPS, PETG, and WAX. EX6 is compatible with all the EX2 polymers, plus it can handle PP, PS, ULTEM, PEEK, NYLON, and some grades of HDPE. Both systems can work with higher temperature polymers, however, the EX6 has greater control at the higher temperature ranges.
As for melt flows, different plastic grades have different melt flows. Both extruders have limits with melt flows but the EX6 has a wider range. The EX2 can work with polymers up to about 10 MFI while the EX6 can work with polymers with melt flows up to about 20 MFI. This is due to the fact that the EX6 can pressurize the polymer faster than the EX2. Also, if you are unsure about a material, you can send it to us. Our engineers at Filabot will test it out for compatibility with both systems.
Both the EX2 and EX6 can make filament in 1.74mm and 2.85mm. There are some considerations to take into account with hard to extrude filaments, such as die swell and melt strength, these considerations will vary with each polymer.
Temperature and Fan Control
The EX6 has four temperature controls and four fan controls on top of the machine. You can use these to manipulate the temperature zones from the hopper to the nozzle. The four temperature zones give you the ability to play around with interesting temperature profiles. The profiles can help you extrude wider types of plastics at better quality. The EX2 only has one temperature zone and the hopper is not temperature controlled. This works well with the more common polymers but as the temperature and run time is increased the EX6 will outperform the EX2 in this respect.
One of the unique features of the EX6 is the removable screw. In the EX2, the screw is installed as a permanent fixture. While the EX2 screw is designed to work with a wide range of polymers it can be difficult to work with the higher end engineering grades of polymers. On the EX6, the screw can be easily removed. It comes with gloves and brushes for cleaning. It is also upgradable. The default one is designed for multipurpose extrusion use. The upgrade screws are custom designed for specific materials like higher melt flow plastics or particular polymer families.
The EX2 weighs about 25-30 pounds and the EX6 weigh about 50-60 pounds.
Both systems are compatible with 110V and 220V power-supplies. So you can use them in the US and other countries. EX2 uses about 500 watts while EX6 uses about 1550 watts of power.
Both systems come with 1-year warranties. The machines are full-metal enclosures with robust designs. So they should last you a long time. Plus since we manufacture the system we have replacement parts in stock and ready for installation at a moments notice.
Overall we have designed both of our extruder systems to meet the needs of our customers. The Filabot EX2 works great for users who have a few 3D printers and want to play with some common grades of plastic. While the EX6 is designed for research and development companies that need to test polymers and scale up to larger volume production using the same machine. We are proud of both products. They are built for performance, reliability, and durability. We stand by what we build, and we would not have it any other way!
If you have questions about any aspect of Filabot products, please feel free to contact us. Our experts are ready to answer your questions today.