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Jonathan Keep
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285 followers
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MAKE YOUR OWN TEAPOT

I really do not like teabags so here are a range of teapot designs to choose from so you can make your own teapot and then make a good cup of tea with lose tea. The files and images are all on Thingiverse - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3029784
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Yesterday I visited a school I have been working with and they are making use of the six week free trial of the clay printer offered by Claybot.uk. I was very impressed how well the whole package has been put together.
Based on what looks like an Anycubic delta printer Claybot have customised it with a screw drive printhead and a mechanical motorised ram clay delivery. You can do clay refilling yourself or they offer a refill service. Control is from a touch screen tablet with Repetier Host loaded with setting for the range of nozzles that comes with the kit. Also includes is thorough hard copy documentation with sample files.
With the slogan 'Print Clay, not plastic' Claybot is aimed at educators but is for artists and anybody else interested. This is a well thought through and highly commendable introduction to clay printing. If nothing else and you are starting out on clay 3D printing have a look at the claybot.co.uk website - http://claybot.co.uk/
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For any higher education students you might be interested to have a look at this workshop opportunity - https://www.artun.ee/summeracademy/clay-3d-printing/

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Finally I have documented the build of my auger screw printhead and mechanical ram clay delivery on my website - see http://www.keep-art.co.uk/printhead.html. Let me know if I have not covered everything. I first wrote about it here in the community last August - https://plus.google.com/u/0/107246070117725851401/posts/5JXw2i3e22r
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This post is to follow on to +Dries Verbruggen 'Looking into buying a pug mill'. (Excuse me starting a new thread but I have more than one image to include and as a comment in the thread I could only include one image)

Last week I was at the Estonian Academy of Art and their ceramic department has a well developed clay 3D printing setup. It is run by +Lauri Kilusk with equipment built by +Madis Kaasik. +Lauri Kilusk has super streamlined clay preparation and cartage filling system using a Shimpo Pugmill/Mixer NVS_07 - (Photo 1)
He is mixing clay from powder (Photo 2) just to prove me wrong as I always say it is best to let clay stand. I will add that the mixer produces the best consistency of clay I have seen. He has a bag of stoneware clay powder (left) and from experience knows how much to put in for a batch. He then adds 30% by eye of 0.2mm grog/chamote powder to the batch (right hand bag). So we are both in agreement fine grog/chamote helps in the mixing, the extrusion, the rigidity of the build, the drying and in the firing of the clay. Water is added by eye once again but from the knowledge of many mixes. The point being different clay will probably use slightly different amounts of water and if you do this often enough you just get a feel for it. There is a little numerical digital readout on the body of the mixer (just in view along the centre bottom of photo 1) that gives a number for the amount of resistance on the mixing blades while mixing. So you have a measure to work to to get following mixes to the same consistency.
So once filled with clay, grog, water and old scraps of recycled clay the mixer is left to churn away. I never gathered quite how long but was unaware of it running for hours and hours. It is a de-airing pug mill so the suction will be running during the mixing. I checked out the blades inside the mixer when empty and as expected they scrape right up against the sides of the mixing body and are not solid but formed from metal bars, if that makes sense. They cut through the clay rather than just rolling it around and around.
However once mixed the consistency of the clay as used for extrusion printing, both compressed air and mechanical ram at the Academy is too soft for the pug mill to push out. But Lauri has sorted this. (Photo 3) A plate bolts onto the extruder of the pug mill onto which the cartage screws. (Not the Techcon ones but the cheaper ones as at the bottom of my Bill of Parts - http://www.keep-art.co.uk/Journal/Delta_3DPrinter_Parts_Nov15.pdf). Then the suction pipe from the De-Airing is pulled off the mixing part of the machine and stuck into the tip of the cartage. Then the pug mill is run as for extruding while running the de-airing that suck the clay into the cartage - brilliant.
(Photo 4) Filling the large ram with soft clay was much the same. The plunger of the ram was driven to the end. The whole thing connected up, the pug switched on to extrude and the ram switched on in reverse to pull clay into the container.
If you have a spare $5000.00 plus this is the mixing machine for you. I will be continuing by hand. I actually rather enjoy getting my hands into the clay.
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31/08/2017
4 Photos - View album

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This video is to go with my recent post.

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Mechanical Clay Delivery – I have a slightly reduced size Delta that I travel with, but then I always need compressed air for the clay delivery so I have long wanted to develop an all mechanical system. This is the result.

As always my over riding criteria was to keep it simple. I did not want extra electronic controls or the need to go to a higher voltage. It is designed around kit I already had such as the Techncon dispensing cartridge and delivers to a self made screw/auger type printhead.

I am using the most recent version of Marlin Firmware as this supports the gcode M163. This code offers a proportional split on the printhead or E steppers. So on the ramps board you have drivers for E0 and E1. E0 I have driving the printhead screw and E1 I have driving the ram motor. By sheer luck using the 27:1 gear I have on the ram stepper and the threaded rod I happened to have to drive the ram, and with a 1.6 mm to 2 mm nozzle the ram and screw stepper speed is the same to get a balance of feed and extrusion. If this was not the case this feed/extrusion ratio can be controlled by the M163 gcode offering an E0(S0) and E1(S1) setting for each stepper driver. This is however set in the gcode and I cannot alter it on the fly but I am sure cleaver coding could do it.

Parts

Cartridge - http://www.adhesivedispensers.co.uk/TS120C.htm is the 12 ounce/355 ml size and if you are printing fine will give nearly 2 hours of clay. The cartridge is 30 cm long so the whole plunger rig is 67 cm long.

Geared Nema 17 Stepper - https://www.omc-stepperonline.com/geared-stepper-motor/nema-17-stepper-motor-bipolar-l48mm-w-gear-raio-271-planetary-gearbox-17hs19-1684s-pg27.html?search=17hs19-1684s-pg27 There is a choice of gear ratio from 5:1 to 100:1 and having no idea what I was looking for I went mid range with 27:1 and it has worked well. It is incredibly powerful and will move hard clay but the cartridge bulges under the force.

Igus Rod end bearings: KARM_05 - (Quality upgrade from original design) http://www.igus.co.uk/iPro/iPro_02_0038_0000_GBen.htm?c=GB&l=en.

Its all very Heath Robinson – see https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=heath+robinson&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-SearchBox&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjdpOWegcfVAhUEPVAKHaAfD9sQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=661

I hope the images are reasonably self explanatory but I am very happy to give further description as required. I documented the screw printhead (Image 003) back in May 2016 - https://plus.google.com/u/0/107246070117725851401/posts/B6EZMMYE91Z

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16/08/2017
8 Photos - View album
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