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Gluesticks as FDM-material

Posted by VDX 
Gluesticks as FDM-material
January 23, 2008 04:15PM
Hi all,

today i checked all my scattered gluesticks and found many different materials in colour, (cold) elasticity, melting temperature, extruding-viscosity and adhesiveness:

In the image is only a small-sized glue-gun for 7,5mm-sticks, the bigger sticks for the 'normal' glue-guns have 11,5mm diameter.

I didn't know, what exactly the specific materials are, but it's a good chance, that they work excelent as FDM-material, as the trays stick very good together and some of the yellowish gluesticks have a high shore-hardness and seem to have a very low expansion/shrinkage when remelted and cooled down.

When i'll have some more time, then i will perform some tests with remelting the thick sticks to 3mm-filament (extruding from the gun in water?) or using a salvaged glue-gun with a temp-controller as FDM-head ...

Re: Gluesticks as FDM-material
January 23, 2008 04:50PM
Probably EVA,
+ additives, according to

Vik's original mecano RepStrap used a hot glue gun, btw.

I imagine the glue gun you end up using isn't designed to run for hours and hours. I'm curious what failure mode you'll get.
Re: Gluesticks as FDM-material
January 23, 2008 05:22PM
Hi Sebastien,

i have some glue-guns of 'industrial grade' too, which are capable of running all the day long without fuming the glue ...

When searching some stuff for encapsulating PCB's i found some bigger guns and industrial tools for filling housings and embedding electronics - this guns run with granules instead of sticks, have a reservoir of some 100 millilitres, can be adjusted to specific temperatures and the extruding can be performed with a piston or with pressurized air ...

I think the best way for experimentig would be an adjustable transformer for constant current-driving or controlling with a temp-sensor in the reservoir for running with a constant temperature.

When my CNC-mill is working, then i'll try to make a direct-drive-dispenser with twin-gears or develop a small-volume pneumatic type with better adjustability of the extruding rate.

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