Because I have been doing a lot of research and experimentation in algorithmic and parametric design for deposition modelling, I needed a 3d-printable media that could be re-used without waste. Enter the world of "ceramic paste" a.k.a. diluted clay!
This project was my answer to extruding a variety of "paste-like" materials (i.e. clay or silicone rubber) without the need of an air compressor to move the media.
This (relatively) low-cost design is a mechanical paste extruder with a reservoir that holds around 1600 ML of media. It can be mounted directly to the end-effector of a 3D printer / CNC machine (see images above) or can be extended via a hose/tube to be used with a variety of lighter-weight 3D printers or robotic arms.
This project was largely inspired by open source projects like Fab@Home (the first 3D printer I ever touched), commercial ceramic 3d printers like 3dpotter.com or Delta WASP, and by artists/makers like Jonathon Keep, Taekyeom Lee and Keith Simpson who are pioneering this field by designing and building their own solutions for printing with ceramic materials.
Bill of Materials
***NOTE: I am providing links for items that will ship to both US and Canada! :)
***DISCLAIMER: Many of these links are to products on Amazon. Amazon sellers sometimes change their products, so I cannot guarantee that these links will be forever accurate. It is always best to double check the product description before ordering.
1.) 3D Printed Components (see "print settings" section for more info)
2.) motor+gearbox (either 20:1 or 30:1 - depending on desired extrusion speed and dilution of clay - I have used both models with success)
(US and CA):
(US and CA):
3.) t10 500mm lead screw + nut:
4.) second t10 nut (for coupling leadscrew to plunger):
5.) 6202RS Bearing:
6.) M4 x 16mm stainless steel screws and nuts
7.) Polycarbonate Tubing, 2-3/4" ID, 3" OD (I ordered one 3-foot length and cut in half to make two tubes)
US & CA:
8.) 30mm x 3mm O-ring (x2)
9.) Aluminum Square Tubing:
10.) Nozzle Hardware (options - for either Type 1 or Type 2):
Soldering Nozzles (US):
Soldering Nozzles (US):
5/16 brass hose fittings:
COUPLER for leadscrew nut and nema 23 gearbox:
I have provided the STL for the leadscrew coupler, though am not sure a plastic 3D-printed component will do the job here. I recommend one of the following for this component:
1.) machining it from aluminum (if you have the equipment / know-how - or access to someone who does)
2.) casting it in metal from a 3D-print (if you have the equipment / know-how - or access to someone who does)
3.) 3D Printing it in metal (if you have the equipment (or access to someone who does)
4.) Ordering the component from my Shapeways store:
INSTRUCTIONS for assembly and use:
I will be publishing detailed instructions for assembly and use of this apparatus in the very near future. Check back soon! Until then, feel free to message me with any questions.
Monday, October 8th, 2018:
You will also need some M3 screws to use as set screws on the leadscrew guide (the square component that goes on the end of the leadscrew opposite the plunger)
And you will need x8 m6 screws to fasten the tube mount and guide mount to the gearbox (the gearbox might come with these, i don't remember)
A few components have been re-uploaded to include single-layer bridges under unsupported perimeters. These have their file names marked with "_withSupport". These layers can be cut away post-printing.
Wednesday, October 10th, 2018:
A 16mm or 5/8in shim washer is required in between the bearing and the m10 leadscrew nut. Links to this component here:
Saturday, November 17th, 2018:
I published a PCB for a stepper motor controller for use with a continuous-flow-based extruder such as this one. More info here: