Sunday, August 5, 2012


Around this time summer last year I got an email from an Israeli student who had build a RepStrap and was doing experiments with printing porcelain:

I'm an industrial design student from Israel (H.I.T institute in Holon).
recently I built a 3d printer that prints Porcelain clay (short video).  
I must say that your project inspired me in many ways, so thank you! 
If I may, I would like to ask you a few questions 
1. one of my main problems is that the porcelain collapse after about 4-5 cm (depend on the shape).
  how do you prevent the clay from collapsing?
2. I am using a 1.2 mm nozzle, i wonder what diameter/type of nozzle do you use?
3. I am trying to build a feeding system that will allow an "endless" feeding material (instead of
changing syringes all the time) - do you have any idea or have you guys tried anything like that?  
I was thinking of using peristaltic pump, but the "pulses" bother me.. 
Thank you very much,
Best Regards,
Eran Gal-Or.

Regularly we get these kinds of emails at Unfold and we always try to help out as much as possible but often these discussions die out after a couple of emails, students loose interest or aimed to high etc. But almost 300 emails later, bouncing off ideas on paste extruders (and lots of him hanging out at #reprap, reading, tinkering, building an Arduino controlled dolly and what else) Eran graduated this june with a fantastic, massive 80x80x80 cm darwin style printer that prints porcelain in a continuous way using a commercial moineau pump and a refilling plunger type extruder he developed. Enjoy the movie! …and the arduino controlled dolly movie pans :)

He's preparing documentation on a blog, I will relay the link when its online and look forward to it.

Congratulations Eran on a job well done!

ps. a lot of the stuff we've been talking about with Eran is also what I am slowly trying to document in this blog. Tomorrow another lengthy post.


  1. Thanks for the detail and update. I've been researching 3D clay / following your work online for a couple of years/blogging. A month ago begun assembling Rapman 3.2, now printing parts for various clay printer heads. Discovered today your syringes size aren't our syringe sizes...and your latest update today! Can't wait to see if you find the holy clay extruder.

  2. Thanks Graham! Keep us posted please! Feel free to drop us a mail hello AT unfold DOT be

  3. I'm curious, a simple question- Why porcelain? This type of clay seems so temperamental that I'm curious why it is the choice for these machines by so many.

  4. Empirical, we found early on that porcelain prints rather nicely because of its low plasticity. It's temperamental nature is not that temperamental in this process.