Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Claystruder parts

Our plan with RepRap has always been to use it as a tool in our design practice and to experiment with materials and RP techniques. The first goal was to extrude ceramics, that got a bit in the background while we discovered the wonderful things you can do with the default ABS extruder :-)
But now we are on track again to build a claystruder! We where first working on a stepper based syringe extruder but never finished that one, Bits from Bytes is developing one so we rather wait for that one instead of losing time on the same thing. After talking with Bre Pettis about their Frostruder MK2 experiments I dived into it. Its a much simpler machine in terms of mechanics and has the advantage of instant on/off, so no ooze.
So we ordered a 12v 3/2 solenoid valve, this is much cheaper and easier than the two 2/2 valves Makerbot uses. Zach used two 2/2s, one to pressurize and one to depressurize because they where easy to find. A 3/2 valve is made to do that, an extra outlet is used to release the pressure when the valve is closed.

Here you see the solenoid valve with the transparent tube running to the compressor and the black tube will go in the syringe. On top is the exhaust to depressurize and on the back is a quite large 12v connector.

The bad news is you need a compressor, which makes a LOT of noise and is a lot more expensive than a stepper :-). We had non in the studio here but we could really use one so went out today and spend some cash.

Did a quick test today and everything works perfectly! Now I need to fab a mount for the syringe an we can test extrusion.


  1. Hi there.

    Where did you find a 12v Solenoid valve? I can only find a 24V version on the burkert website??

  2. Burkert can deliver most types in 12v too. Don't know where I found that or that they told it on the phone but they could :). The type I used is 6012:

  3. Ok, thanks, so you bought from them direct. I was looking for a supplier as i assumed they wouldn't sell them in small quantities. Guess I'll give them a call.

  4. Matthew, they had an office in my city so that made things a lot easier. Succes!