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Johnathan Keep’s Ceramic Delta 3D Printer: for when projects call for a clay medium

Johnathan Keep’s Ceramic Delta 3D Printer: for when projects call for a clay medium

Plastics and metals typically steal the show when it comes to the materials used in 3D printing, especially in the wave of desktop models currently trending at the moment. When it comes to ‘other’ printers that use different materials such as clay, we either have to mortgage the house to afford one or build it ourselves, like Johnathan Keep did with his Ceramic Delta 3D Printer.

His design is based off the ‘delta’ style of 3D printer and features modified parts from a Techcon Systems dispensing gun to make the extruder, including the gun’s cartridges and retainer body. Compressed air is used to extrude the clay from the cartridge, which lasts about an hour before needing to be replaced. An Arduino Mega 2560 microcontroller provides the core of the printer, which drives the three high-torque stepper motors that actuate the guide rods. The rods are held in place using MDF and plastic pieces as a platform and open-frame top to allow for movement while being stable.

Johnathan’s clay ‘Extruder’, complete with air compressor and Techcon TS series dispensing gun parts

Johnathan’s clay ‘Extruder’, complete with air compressor and Techcon TS series dispensing gun parts

The Arduino Mega 2560 along with RAMPs 1.4 shield with LCD/SD board secured in a plastic housing

The Arduino Mega 2560 along with RAMPs 1.4 shield with LCD/SD board secured in a plastic housing

Johnathan’s build cost was around $700, with some parts purchased on eBay and others from online retailers. Not bad for a ceramic DIY printer! (See more after the link)

Cabe Atwell

The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew – If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire… the Cabe-team


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