Claystruder 1.1

by unfold, published

Claystruder 1.1 by unfold Jul 25, 2010
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These are the files for the first prototype of a clay extruding print head for a Bits From Bytes Rapman. Its a slightly improved version of the one we use for printing our initial ceramics objects (unfoldfab.blogspot.com). The design is based on the Frostruder by Zach Hoeken from Makerbot but uses one double action solenoid valve instead of two single action ones. It is important to note that it was never designed with elegance or easy printability in mind, its just a quick and dirty prototype.


The Claystruder is designed on top of a spare rapman extruder mounting plate that I had around. The DXF for the mounting plate is attached. Laser cut out of 5mm material. The claystruder base that holds the syringe is glued on top of the mounting plate. Two feet fit in appropriate holes of the plate. (see, not very elegant...)
The two STL's that make up the claystruder need to be printed with support turned on. It is kept to the minimum but its not completely without overhangs.
You can fit most 50-60 cc syringes in the base of the Claystruder.
The cap is also a mounting base for a 12v DC 6012, 3/2-Way Miniature Solenoid Valve from Burkert: (http://www.burkert.com/COM/Products/Solenoid-valves/Water-and-other-neutral-media/6012.html). You will also need two screw on connectors for the tubing. On short tube goes straight down true the cap and should end 5-10 mm below the bottom. Here you can fit a rubber plunger cap from a 60cc syringe that you perforate to guide the tube true the rubber cap. This will make sure that your syringe is air tight. On top of the valve goes your tube that runs from the compressor. At the front of the valve is the pressure release outlet.
I always use two small clamps to hold the cap and the base together. You will need to fit something on the base plate to trigger your limit switches. I use a threaded rod and a few bolts.
Like for the Frostruder, you need a compressor, 10 bar max, for it to work.

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If you don't mind me asking, what valves did you use for this setup? I'm assuming burkert but i can't seem to find a 12v model for 6012 valves!

Thanks :)

very good, thanks.

could you please upload the parts list for this one ? :)

@crazygavinbuddy, v1.5 can be found here and is better/simpler in many ways: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:21788

Claystruder 1.5
by unfold

There is an Instructables project where this was used to print cookies.

cool, you know the link by any chance?

How much did you pay for the solenoid valve? I can't find a good source for it. I'd love to give it a try for making composite parts.

Hi Erik, did you try Burkert? They have an office in Holland. Should be around 45
€. I am working at the moment on a new version that should be a lot better and I think the valve will be optional in this version. Printing parts ATM :) . Will send you an email when I have the first results with this one.

Hey Erik, did you ever get your new version operational?

that much closer to printing a ceramic insulator retainer to replace the melting PTFE one... ;)

I noticed that the DXF preview is all wrong, it open fine in Illustrator or Vectorworks. Units are mm.

This is one of my favorite projects. It opens up whole new classes of objects and devices that can be printed. Do you plan to post a recipe for the clay slurry?

Hello Mattmoses,
I will post some recipes on our blog one of these days (no magic fairy dust involved btw), catching up on posting everything. One day I will give a shot at bundling everything on the RR wiki.

have you tried to see whether green or lightly fired pieces will wick molten metal?

What do you mean with "wick molten metal", I am not familiar with metal casting...