What are the possibilities of building a 3D printer which uses a cartridge-style material filling rather than the conventional extruder setup? The idea of the cartridge is to eliminate the necessity of taking the material in spool form. My aim is to build a 3d printer which can take materials either in the form of pellets or any other shape. The materials that I want to work with are COC(Cyclic olefin copolymer) and polycarbonates.I have these materials in pellets so need to design an extruder and hot end setup which can directly use these and print . currently I have a Lulzbot Kittaz 3d printer with a single extruder( hexagonal end). Any suggestions where should I start?

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    $\begingroup$ You've not provided the type of 3d printer you are considering. You do reference "conventional extruder" and "spool form" which leads one to believe that you are referring to FDM printing. Some resin printers are using cartridges, but that is liquid, not solid plastic. Your starting location should consider what form the material will be inside the cartridge and what form it will be outside the cartridge. Will you use liquid that hardens under light? Will you use binary liquid that has to be mixed in order to solidify? Powder fed by screw to be melted in the nozzle? Too much undetermined. $\endgroup$ – fred_dot_u Oct 13 '16 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ I think fred_dot_u is right on. This is definitely an interesting question to discuss, but it's more of a brainstorming topic...I'll probably try to answer it anyway, but the question sort of defies a "right" answer. $\endgroup$ – Chris Thompson Oct 13 '16 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ My understanding is that the spools of filament used in FFF 3D printers are almost invariably produced from polymer granules, also called resin pellets, also called plastic nurdles. Some early (2006-2008) experiments with a GranuleExtruder attempted to skip that intermediate filament step. $\endgroup$ – David Cary Oct 16 '16 at 5:13
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Veda! As Chris points out, your question encourages more or less a brain storming session, but no possible definite answers. For this reason, I unfortunately have to put your question on hold for being too broad for now. Feel free to make your question more specific so that there can be a single correct answer - this is the format that is encourages on Stack Exchange sites in general. Good luck! $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Oct 17 '16 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, i have edited the question to make it more specific. Can you please remove the hold? $\endgroup$ – Veda Oct 23 '16 at 18:29