Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Ceramic 3D Printing Extruder (2nd update)

by FabLabMaastricht, published

Ceramic 3D Printing Extruder (2nd update) by FabLabMaastricht Aug 23, 2012

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Extruder for printing with ceramic. Still in development, but we already produced nice results. See pictures for results. Added new photos and info.


We have created an extruder based on the design of Unfold. We have added a syringe holder and a few more parts to attach it to the printer.

We used a 0.5 mm, 1.2 mm and a 1.6 mm nozzle as an experiment. But we have 30 other different nozzles, so we will keep trying to get the right nozzle. We bought a set of different nozzles in order to experiment with different sizes and lengths of the nozzles. You could also buy a set of 50 pieces of one type of nozzle.

We have also been creating different mixes of the ceramic, but we think that we have found a good mix that is strong enough to make thin walls.

If you would like to build your own, you will need the following things:

We experimented another day with printing ceramic. We tried to adjust the extruder, but it was more difficult than we tought. We made a new mix the evening before we printed, but the next morning the ceramic mix was changed. So we needed to adjust the mix to make it a bit more ticker. You can also see that the mix looks a bit pink, but that will go away when you bake it. We still have some problems with the speed of extruding, but we think that we made more improvement since last week. As you can see in the images you can see a square with more squares in it. The first test were not good, but one images shows the final test wat already looks nice. Also the tube was a nice test how high we can go with the ceramics, about 10 cm we came. But we are sure we can come higher, we were limited because of the model was 10 cm high in my design. The strange misforming on the top of the tube model is because of some air that came out of the nozzle. So it has nothing to do with the quality of printing. This was it for now. Next week we hope to show you more about printing with ceramics.

Update 2:
We have some new nice models to share. Last weekend we were printing at the Keramisto event in Milsbeek (Netherlands). We used only airpressure to create our models, because our new extruder was not finished yet. Almost all the objects we printed were very nice, with special thanks to Jo Schoenmakers(jasmv.nl
) who made the ceramic mix for us. The mix worked really well and we made very nice objects and they will be baked this week. We also used 2 different colors in one tube, so that the prints will have an sort of marmer effect when baked. U can already see some difference in color, but when it is baked the color difference will be more. We designed all the objects ourselfs, because we could only print in one single line and not with infil. That's also why the objects are not that special, but the best we could at this moment. We hope to print more complex objects in the future with our new extruder that we are developing. So more to come soon!

The project is still in development, but the results are already very promising. More info about the project will be uploaded in the future.

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Zouden jullie me kunnen vertellen hoe ik mijn Reprap Air 2 zou kunnen omtoveren tot zo'n ceramic printer? Ik studeer op de Rietveld en zou in de vakantie willen experimenteren met een dergelijk proces.



the moment we are still experimenting with a new extruder system. We are using the
Shapercube and don't have a Reprap Air 2 printer. We are trying to make the
system better in the future. So if you want to experiment yourself I can recommend
that you try to design your own syringe holder and test with printing with
compressed air. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:21074http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... (Syringe adapter made by Unfold). We also
used that for testing the ceramic mix and got some great results as you can see
in some of the pictures. Good luck and if you ever want to see what we are
printing at the moment feel free to come to the FabLab in Maastricht. http://www.fablabmaastricht.nl/http://www.fablabmaastricht.nl...

50/60cc Syringe Adapter Head
by unfold

Thanks for your reply, I have the skills to design an adapter, so I will check out the links you have sent me :)

Currently still too busy with my work at the Rietveld Academy, maybe I have time to visit you guys after the Graduation Exhibition (not graduating, but helping with the design).

English please?

Haha, am I doing something that isn't allowed?

Ik spreek gewoon Nederlands wanneer ik wil hoor ;)

Please turn this into a Kickstarter project, so we can buy one :-)

We have updated the progress! :-D

We think it is an problem with our guiding, because there is an wobble when moving the y-axis. We will update our shapercube with linear ball bearings, So we can print better in the future :)

Hi Unfold,

nice to hear something from you. We really like your design an it is already printing very well :)
At the moment we don't have any problems with the plastic auger, while we already printed for about 10 hours. The steel is more than $ 100,- and we don't want to invest to much money. I did not now t
hat this was an old design from you. Have you made an better design? We will try to make this design better, so we can also print better than at the current stage. The model that we used was an self designed cross pattern, to try a different shape than an circle. This time we tried to print an shape
that is impossible to make by hand, and it already looks really nice for printing for two days now :)

Hi FabLab Zuid Limburg,

Great that you modified my (fairly old) design and made it a bit more user friendly. I hope you can solve some of the issues I had with this design but you will have to move to stainless steel augers since these ones degrade VERY quickly with ceramics (measure auger diameter virgin and after some
use). I am pretty pessimistic about this design altogether, you did read my blog post yes?
But would be interesting to see if you can (dis)confirm my observations.

PS. May I ask what model you are printing in the pict

i am curious about the implications for "food safe" printing, considering there seem to be so many issues with ABS and PLA (dye)?

Very cool, I'll be watching your progress!

Very awesome. I was waiting for this...

trying to picture the movie 'ghost'.. not quite the same... maybe patrick swayze could be behind demi moore while she is typing commands into a slicer...

Wow! This looks great. Any idea if the ripples in your prints are from z wobble or the extruder? Looks to me like z wobble... I can't wait to see what this thing can do when you're all finished!

It has nothing to do with a z wobble. We use a very rigid 3d printer called the shapercube. The ripples are there, because we still need to adjust the motor to the right settings. The motor is extruding a little bit to much at this moment, but next week we hope to fix it. We also going to make more complex objects. You will see them hopefully next week! I also can't wait to see better results and post them here. We installed en tested the hole extruder just in one day. So more to come soon.


I had many cases of wobble with this setup which could be attributed to a slight misalignment of the stepper and the auger. This would make the auger wobble a bit back and forth between two sides. Very hard to overcome imho.

Aw, well I was hoping for it to be z wobble just so it would be easy for you guys to fix! Good luck. I can't wait to see what you come up with!