Saturday, January 7, 2017

3D printing in clay: metal extruder parts


Taek and I have been talking about an all metal extruder chamber and auger for his 3D printer that he prints clay with. Before Christmas I offered to cast the auger in metal as he's been having trouble with the clay destroying the printed part. I cast the auger in bronze for him and while I was at it, I offered to cast the outer extruder in aluminum. The extruder body is pushing the limits of the flask size that we have so I told him that there was no guarantee that we would get a good pour. The bronze auger came out great. We ended up with porosity in the tip of the aluminum extruder body but I was able to tig weld the the extruder so Taek could run some tests. The bronze auger worked really well according to Taek. After further discussion, Taek is looking into the use of a drill bit for the auger and using an anti backlash coupler to mate the Nema 17. I told him we should just machine the extruder body for ease of repeatability as well as testing different metal sleeves for running against the auger. I have some measurements and should be able to bang one of these out for him on my lathe in the coming weeks. In the mean time, he's working on a 6ft tall printer. It should be impressive!

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