Universal Paste Extruder for 3D printers

by RichRap, published

Universal Paste Extruder for 3D printers by RichRap Apr 6, 2012

Featured Thing!


This is a universal paste extruder for RepRap and other 3D printers.

It allows you to experiment with various pastes on your 3D printer without the need for any air compressor equipment or valves etc.
It simply uses the existing Extruder motor output from your printer’s electronics.

It's designed to fit on the Quick-Fit X Carriage Thing 19590-


And it will also fit on Prusa and Greg style X carriages.

7th-4-2012- Split and added Gear set on two plates for Cupcake and smaller build-bed machines.

11-April - Uploaded Sketchup Source files (sorry for the delay)
I challenge you to make one that works with 50ml Syringes! or do a fully parametric version in SCAD :)

And a very big thank you to Greg Frost (and derivatives) for the wonderful work done on the Parametric Involute Bevel and Spur Gears script, without this, the gear set would have taken me a lot more time to make.

Recent Comments

view all


does anyone knows of this extruder fits on a mendel 90?

Is there a way to have more printing material other than getting a bigger syringe

Hi, just found this... and think my girlfriend and me can make much use of it

One thing are the printed parts.... but all the mechanical parts, where do i get those? are there a "shopping list" ?

i tried to look at ifeelbeta.de but they do not have it anymore.... and i would rather get a list from the source :-D

More from 3D Printer Extruders

view more

Liked By

view all

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag. Print Thing Tag


An assembly video for the Universal Paste Extruder can be found here, giving you details of how to build one up - youtu.be/iiyEOKpz_b8

You can print with Ceramic Clays, Silicone, Sugar pastes, solder paste for PCB assembly, Chocolate, Frostings, Masa Harina, and all sorts of other food’s or pastes that can be extruded through a syringe.

A Blog post on the Extruder is Here - richrap.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/universal-paste-extruder-ceramic-food.html

Printing with Sugar paste video - youtu.be/vEqLvqTCDko

Printing with Chocolate - youtu.be/tbVVT0Q0PyU

Printing with Porcelain Clay - youtu.be/x8ILdNDrXrc

Printing with Masa Harina (Corn chips) - youtu.be/cUvu522Q_f4

Intro video - youtu.be/Moiyvq8P2Vs

1 x Print - Plastic Body V2 Extruder
1 x Print - Gear and drive set (small gear, medium gear, large gear, idler block, syringe pressure block
1 x NEMA17 motor
1 x T5 10teeth Metal drive Gear (you could print one of these)
4 x 624 Bearings
1 x 608 bearing
1 x 20mm M8 Smooth rod
1 x 55mm M4 Bolt
1 x 75mm M4 bar or bolt
1 x M4 Hex spacer (or M4 wingnut)
2 x M4 plain nuts
4 x M4 Nylock nuts
3 x M3 Nuts
2 x 20mm M4 bolts
5 x 10mm M3 bolts
4 x M3 washers
14 x M4 washers
3 x M3 nuts
1 or 2 x 45mm M3 bolts for Idler
1 or 2 x springs or Silicon pressure spacers for Idler
1 x small zip tie
1 x 5-6mm wide T5 belt ~about 40cm
1 x Plastic sheet

Standard 10ml Syringe - Luer Lock or Centre slip types
Various syringe needles 1.8mm - 0.1mm - For Lure Lock Syringe type.

File Name




You must be logged in to post a comment.

printman on Apr 20, 2014 said:


does anyone knows of this extruder fits on a mendel 90?

lcswaby on Apr 16, 2014 said:

Is there a way to have more printing material other than getting a bigger syringe

boelle on Jan 26, 2014 said:

Hi, just found this... and think my girlfriend and me can make much use of it

One thing are the printed parts.... but all the mechanical parts, where do i get those? are there a "shopping list" ?

i tried to look at ifeelbeta.de but they do not have it anymore.... and i would rather get a list from the source :-D

JAMh on Oct 9, 2013 said:

I have problems with all the 3 wheels. Using Repetier it looks like they have something strange in the normal, even trying to fix it with netfabb basic.

Any help?

Thanks in advice.

koorbj11 on Aug 22, 2013 said:

I've finished assembling this extruder but I'm unsure as to how I would go about mounting it onto a Reprappro Mendel. Any suggestions?

koorbj11 on Aug 22, 2013 said:

Please disregard my previous comment...didn't see the instructions tab.

koorbj11 on Aug 19, 2013 said:

Hi Rich,

Just wandering whether you could post a list of all the names and quantities of the? required components needed to assemble the universal paste extruder. I had a search through your website but I couldn't find one.
It would be really really helpful:))


PHOS on Jul 19, 2013 said:

Thanks a lot!!!!!
This is fantastic!!!!!

RichRap on Jul 4, 2013 said:

Wow! Almost 17,000 Downloads and 22,000 views.

I did make it Creative Commons and for your commercial use, so if any of you entrepreneurial people are selling it, or have been inspired to make something similar that's really great! well done and congratulations, keep going :)

Just have a think about donating to my Blog if you can, I'd most appreciate it - http://richrap.blogspot.co.uk/

Keep sharing and Stay Awesome everyone :)


woodya1989 on Jun 3, 2013 said:

This is really awesome!

But I am not quite familiar with the mechanical part. So could you please tell me where I can buy these metal components such as bearing, bolt? And what is the proper dimensions or specific models of them?

Sorry for the fundamental question.
Thanks a lot~

RichardF on May 30, 2013 said:

Is there a version for 20ml syrines? I wanted to remix your model, but it looks like I have to build the model from the ground up again :(

RichRap on May 30, 2013 said:

Yes, I posted the challenge for someone to make it parametric and ifeelbeta have done a 20ml version - also parametric design - http://ifeelbeta.de/index.php/...

terrykidd on Feb 21, 2013 said:

Hi Rich. Any tips on slicer settings? (Slic3r) I've had problems with the extruder jamming against the body and subsequently missing steps. I'll try again, I think 3 vertical shells may be too many.

PSUReprap on Nov 15, 2012 said:

Hello, could you be a little more specific about which parts go where?  Sometimes it's hard to tell from the video.  For example, I don't want to accidently force an M4 nut where an M3 was supposed to go.  My print wasn't perfect so some places seem like more than one size of nut could fit there.  Specifically, I'd like to know where the four M3 washers, three M3 nuts, four M4 Nylock nuts, two M4 bolts, 55mm M4 bolt, and 10mm M3 bolt go.  Thank you!

RichRap on Dec 5, 2012 said:

Hello, the Pressure block nut traps are M3
The Syringe grip block is M4 (you don't usually need this)
All the gears are held on with M4 bolts and Nylock nuts
The M3 x 10mm (x3) nuts and washers are for the Nema17 motor mount.

Another M3 nut, washer and bolt is for the pressure block hinge

Finally the end-cap that presses on the Syringe uses the smaller M4 bolt, bearing and two washers (one each side of the bearing) and a M4 Nylock nut to secure it,

If your print is a little out, use a heatgun or hair drier to soften the extruder, and insert the nuts.

Good luck with the build.

rrhb on Nov 11, 2012 said:

hi - My paste extruder is mostly working, but for some reason the teeth on the gears are coming out "fat" and don't mesh all well for me. Certainly not as nice fitting as your video. I printed it on both a Rostock and  Prusa, same issue.  No issues with meshing on several other gear related projects.

Could you post your gear specifications (pitch, pressure angle, etc?). I'd like to generate these as SCADs and tweak some tooth spacing to see if I can get a nice meshing.  It would be much quicker with the original numbers. thanks!

RichRap on Nov 11, 2012 said:

Hello, Are you using Slic3r for the Gcode generation - if so Don't use V 0.8.4 (ever!) it makes everything too big, and things don't mesh.

V0.8.3 or V0.9.1 works very well for the Gears, if they still don;t mesh, then you have another issue to sort out first (maybe incorrect extruder calibration?)

gowsh on Jun 26, 2012 said:

Wonderful design. I was wondering if this is easy to adapt to the ultimaker. Would love to hear back from you. :)

RichRap on Jul 30, 2012 said:

Not so easy for Ultimaker as it has a moving head and fixed build bed.

Maybe we need a Bowden based paste extruder for Ultimaker and Huxley?

shay1978 on Jun 25, 2012 said:

Can you give a link to buy the T5 10teeth Metal drive Gear ?

Or a link to the printed part or at least the dimensions of the part ?

RichRap on Jul 30, 2012 said:

Hello, Where in the world are you based?

I got my gears locally but there ate loads online -

I put T5 10teeth into Google and MFA parts pop up everywhere - one on eBay - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Timi...

unfold on Jun 20, 2012 said:

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the great design. One question, what feedrate (mm/s), layer height and motor RPM did you use? I am really in the ultra low RPM range on my first tests: 20mm/s at 2RPM...

RichRap on Jul 30, 2012 said:

Hi, Thanks.

My Slic3r settings show all the settings I was running it at for the initial testing, it can go faster, but mainly depends on the material being extruded.
Masa and Ceramic with the needle was about 12mm/sec
It's quite highly geared so it can extrude thick pastes, so the RPM is reasonably slow, did
n't seem to cause problems even with a very small needle.

Good luck, I hope you can get it printing for you.

42loop on Jun 1, 2012 said:

I failed on this. the gear holes are all eight-cornered and too large for the axles diameters. looking closely at the stl files i see its in the design. opening the skp file, its also in there. but looking at your fotos, i see they are perfectly round.

maybe you wanna post the scad files for the gears as well, i wouldnt mind working on this.

my motor doesn't fit either, it sits 2mm too high since the 'cap' of the motor has a 2mm 'overhang' over the motors black body. i might dremel a little groove into the base though, but thats not what 3d printing is all about...

and a question: why are you using sketchup, if the gears were made in openscad anyway ?


RichRap on Jun 18, 2012 said:

Hi, I get round printed holes with Marlin? Sorry, the Scad was just used for the simple gearing teeth output, I then heavily modified them in Sketchup to add all the other bits and re-size holes etc.

I use Sketchup because I like it and I can do things very quickly, I only used SCAD for the basic gear spacing and teeth calculations, I'm not a SCAD expert, so it would have taken me a lot longer to do it all in SCAD, otherwise I would have done a Parametric version from the start.

Feel free to
do whatever you need to the Sketchup / STL files or make your own SCAD gears etc. that's what it's all about, post a derivative if you make things better.



RichRap on May 31, 2012 said:

I posted up an update on the Ceramic prints - they have been fired now and came out quite well - more on my Blog here - http://richrap.blogspot.co.uk/...

danielpublic on Jun 7, 2012 said:

Thanks for the update!

Have you had any time to experiment with "fiber of choice"/paperclay?

Jossie90 on May 28, 2012 said:

Does anyone else have problems with this design? NEMA17 motors do not fit properly. The hole spacing is 28.5mm, but NEMA17 motors have a 31mm spacing. I had to drill some extra holes to get it to fit properly. The hole in the pulley is too small as well, approx. 4.5mm.

RichRap on May 28, 2012 said:

Hello, it could do with a small tweak to fix this, the holes are a little bigger than required, but it is still a little tight. I was intending to make the holes oval so the motor could be moved slightly, it got missed.

The pulley hole should be ok, that's just a normal size gear output from Greg's SCAD script.

What type of Nema17 motor are you using?

I hope you get it up and running.

peter_ on May 2, 2012 said:

RichRap put a couple complete kits, as well as some printed parts kits, up on eMakershop. Just incase there were other folks wondering if they could get a kit without having to go to the trouble of sourcing all the parts themselves, and/or thought their printer's resolution might not be up for the print job. http://www.emakershop.com/brow...

thantik on May 1, 2012 said:

Define: "Standard 10ml Syringe"

Because I just picked up a 10ml syringe here in the USA, and when in the housing, the bottom of the body reaches the 5ml mark, whereas in your picture it reaches the 4ml mark. My syringe is also very very loose...are you from across the pond?

Where can I get a syringe that fits this thing? I've
been to pharmacies, medical supply shops, everywhere...nothing fits like it does in your picture.

RichRap on May 2, 2012 said:


I have 3 different 10ml Syringes and they all fit, the only difference being the flange that sits in the recess at the top.
Remember to use a packing piece of plastic wrapped inside hole for the syringe, you can see this in the video, and to tighten you can use the pressure block with an M4 screw,
but after fitting the packing piece, you should not need to tighten.

Without the packing plastic, it will be loose in the extruder, this is to allow hot pastes to be thermally insulated using foil and PTFE film, should you need it.

I expect all you are doing wrong it not fitting the packing piece
of plastic sheet.

I am in the UK, but I doubt Syringes are different dimensions over in the US, the ones I'm using are made by -http://www.muzamalindustries.c...

Brand name 'Ciringe' - made in Malaysia

Hope any of that helps.

Hexdoll on Apr 25, 2012 said:

Here's an idea I had for a dual paste extruder based on 2 syringes driven by a single motor the idea is that forward direction on the motor will push one syringe and reverse will push the other. Might need some tweaking in the software though. https://imgur.com/2Q7CX

RichRap on Apr 29, 2012 said:

nice idea, but I'm not sure how that would work unless the other end of the belt was also tensioned,or you remember where you are with each syringe and then need to fast feed the belt forwards and back to the point of next extrusion. You could it with one belt and two motors, just fix the belt in the middle of your picture and have the motor's on the other ends of the belt.

Or one motor, one belt and one solenoid clamp, that may be the easiest way.

Inouk on Apr 19, 2012 said:

Amazing it works great judging from your vids!

I'm not familiar with ceramic porcelain clay, does it have to be baked? Is it food safe and waterproof?

RichRap on Apr 29, 2012 said:

thanks, it does depend on what you want to do with it, you can fire it and glaze then it's just like a finished ceramic mug.

owenscenic on Apr 17, 2012 said:

Great to see my little frog printed in clay. With the void inside, can the porcelain clay be fired?

RichRap on Apr 17, 2012 said:

He is a great little frog, thanks for such a nice model.

I'm not expecting all the frogs to last the firing process, but I did prick a few little holes in the base, so if he does not explode it may just work.
I should find out in the next few days.

charliearmorycom on Apr 14, 2012 said:

It would be fun to try this with PMC (Precious Metal Clay). You can get PMC in silver, gold, copper, bronze and steel!

charliearmorycom on May 9, 2012 said:

Hey, I don't mean to rush you - I really appreciate all of your work!!!

But I'm really curious how the PMC turned out! I really wan't to try it myself, but since you have the setup already it really makes more sense for me to wait for you to try it first.

Have you ordered it yet?

Is there anything I can do to assist?

Thanks again for everything and I wish you the
best of luck!!!

RichRap on Apr 15, 2012 said:

Thanks, I will see if I can find any and give it a try, should look nice.

rnakata808 on Apr 13, 2012 said:

dumb question what is a good xcarriage that use lm8uu bushings and a good x xcarriage that uses 608 bearings. were can i download the files that have the modifications with the lm8uu or other types of bearings. I am trying to build a reprap off of my makerbot that demonstrates the other uses of a 3d printer, like this. Any help is a apreciated and thanks for this awesome design.

RichRap on Apr 15, 2012 said:

I have quick-fit X carriage that may help - http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

lory90sw on Apr 12, 2012 said:

Awesome :) :)

jamesglanville on Apr 12, 2012 said:

printed now, two questions though:

what's the small rectangle piece for? shown in the main photo between the body and the double gear. I couldn't see it in your instructions.

How do you use the wade mounting holes? was I supposed to pause the print to insert a nut or something as I can't work out how to bolt it on :s

Cool print t
hough :)

RichRap on Apr 12, 2012 said:

Like the galaxy Blue print, nice.

The little rectangular piece is for the syringe insert, you can tighten the syringe and this block by using an M4 screw and the M4 trapped nut in the extruder body, but you don't really need it, it was a bit of design overkill as the syringe is held enough if you use a plastic sleeve, see my video on that.

I didn't have a lot of room to make the Wade mount all that easy so you screw up from the bottom and the M4 screws tap into the extruder body, they should be a nice tight fit.

jamesglanville on Apr 11, 2012 said:

Half way through printing now, I can't wait to have this working, thanks for the cool design :)

open3dp on Apr 11, 2012 said:

Thanks for the excellent design. No compressed air! Our current post on Open3DP was amended to include this design!

Ioan on Apr 11, 2012 said:

Breathtaking! This makes me to abort any further work regarding paste deposition.

However some kind of suck-back movement would be nice!

Congratulations again! :)

dbeta on Apr 10, 2012 said:

Just spit ballin' here, but if you printed with cookie dough(say sugar cookie dough so it was smooth and even) onto a HBP, could you cook the cookie while printing it. Leaving you with a perfect cookie of your design? Of course, the first few layers might get over cooked if you don't do it at the right temp.

twotimes on Apr 11, 2012 said:
garyhodgson on Apr 9, 2012 said:

Hi Rich - any chance you could upload the source files? I'm almost through putting it together and there are a few small changes I would like to play with (e.g. using a standard Prusa T5 pulley for the main drive)

RichRap on Apr 10, 2012 said:

Hi Gary, no problem, I'm just tidying up the sketchup files now and I'll pop them up shortly.

eranglr on Apr 8, 2012 said:

Great design!

I built a paste extruder (not a reprap style, more of a repstrap, metal junk style) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

I always thought that printing clay on paper/newspaper is the best thing to do, since the paper suck away the water from the clay.
how does the aluminium foil working for you?

RichRap on Apr 10, 2012 said:

That's an impressive build, nice job.

The foil works really well, it slows down drying so you get less warp as the layers build up - I'm using Porcelain which is tricky to use anyway, other clays may have less of an issue, but building on foil works well for me.

RichRap on Apr 7, 2012 said:

Hi, No problem, I have split the gear set and uploaded two new plates, that will fit on a Cupcake or other smaller machines.



sgraber on Apr 7, 2012 said:

Any chance you could export the models into individual files for V2_007_Paste_gears_Set_23rd_march_2012_ready_to_print.stl? This plate will not fit on a 4"x4" Cupcake platform.

idolcrasher on Apr 7, 2012 said:

I dig that you used the term Universal :) If we gear our designs towards working on most common reprap designs, we will see these machines advance faster :)

peter_ on Apr 7, 2012 said:

this is great work, and great videos! have you by chance tried it (or, do you plan on trying it) with solder paste? i'd be very interested to see how tiny a blob it could squirt out -- corresponding to how tiny a pitch one could use for SMD parts.

thanks again!

RichRap on Apr 8, 2012 said:

I'll give it a try, it should work fine, solder paste is quite forgiving of slight over or under application and even slightly off centre as it pools nicely when heated and usually sucks and straightens the component onto the SM pads.

QuantumConcepts on Apr 6, 2012 said:

This is awesome! I want to use it to print emulsion on a silk screen to quickly make intricate designs for silk screening! I wonder if that would work...

RichRap on Apr 7, 2012 said:

Thanks, and nice idea, it should work fine, you may need to mix some cornflour (cornstarch) with the dye / emulsion to make it thicker so it won't leak out.

danielpublic on Apr 6, 2012 said:

Oh wow
§ dude, thats a great idea! It ought to work straight syringe on the fabric, right(?). Sure a few test runs and such, but Hey.. It should work!

PolygonPusher on Apr 6, 2012 said:

Very clever design! I like the fact that it has a mechanical activation of the syringe instead of compressed air.

Thanks for sharing this with the rest of the 3D printing community!

RichRap on Apr 7, 2012 said:

no problem, I hope people find uses for it.

Anonymous on Apr 6, 2012 said:

Simply Amazing.

Now, please stop designing great things; I am running out of filament to print them all.


RichRap on Apr 7, 2012 said:

You'll just have to buy more I'm afraid :-P



IWorkInPixels on Apr 6, 2012 said:


danielpublic on Apr 6, 2012 said:

Nice work!

I'll just leave this cookie right here: http://www.jerrybennett.net/pa...

It could take things to the next level, literally.

RichRap on Apr 7, 2012 said:

Cool, thanks for the link, that sounds perfect! I'll contact Jerry and see what he thinks, but it sounds ideal to help with warping and maybe even overhangs! I may get to print the bunny ears after all!

obijuan on Apr 6, 2012 said:

This is so amazing.... that I have no words... Wonderful work! Many thanks for sharing! Now the reprap project is going to spread even more

RichRap on Apr 7, 2012 said:

Thank you.