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Dries Verbruggen
Co-founder at Unfold design studio
Co-founder at Unfold design studio


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Looking into buying a pug mill. Currently doing a production run of 650 cups, in part as an experiment in what it takes to do large production, and with two machines running full time the bottleneck for one person operation is definitely clay preparation and cartridge filling. So I know that +Yao van den Heerik & +3D POTTER are using a VENCO pugmill. Anyone else using one? Anny issues preparing the softer than normal clay that we require? Can you just throw in the clay from a pack and add the extra water or do you need to pre mix everything and then throw in the pug? Can you extrude straight into cartridges? Is the vacuum needed and does it work with soft clay?
I was also looking at Peter Pugger and from what I read it seems a bit more capable as a mixer/pugger as you can throw even powder + water in and it will mix for x minutes in vacuum and then you flip a switch and it goes into extrusion mode. But still waiting for price from one of the few EU suppliers. Other brands available here are Shimpo which is not vacuum but has a twin auger marketed as 'virtually air free' and cheaper than Venco (stainless steel for said price as standard steel Venco) & Rohde (looks not so suitable).
What do you think? Not the type of item I'm willing to buy on impulse like the Anycubic delta :-)

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posted some updates on my experience with building & converting the +ANYCUBIC 3D machine into a ceramic 3d printer in the original thread.

Hi all,

Finished building the AnyCubic Linear Kossel, now I was looking at the default firmware trying to remember what to change for clay printing. Obviously out of the box it gave a MINTEMP error. Now to my big surprise I got it working with only one change, setting the thermistor type (TEMP_SENSOR_0) to 998 so it would fake a permanent 25°C. Now it throws no errors when I attempt to print a file sliced with 25°C. I though more was needed, override low temperature extrusion prevention etc. Anyone who has recent experience modifying Marlin who can chime in? This sounds too simple :) +Jonathan Keep, have you been setting up little delta's recently?
Made me think about our recent discusion about advocating for clay print features in slicers. I think we should advocate for on click 'cold' setting that just skips all extruder heating stuff.

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Was looking into a fast way to get an extra, small size 3d printer for production purposes. I like the JKDelta and even have a CNC mill to produce the wood parts but was looking against sourcing all the parts individually and the time this would take. So researching the small delta kit landscape I came across some cheap (299,99€!) Kossel Delta's and ultimately ordered the Anycubic from Amazon. These chinese Kossel machines seem to be popular, well reviewed and in stock at Amazon. So shipping was only 2 days. I guess others might be interested in my experiences so will document as we go and will upload modded parts to Youmagine. For now it will be a direct air pressure extruder using Techcon cartridges.

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Quick poll, which slicer do you use for your ceramic 3d printing needs? You can explain in the comments, good to know why if you tried various slicers and to know if you use only air pressure or some motorised extruder.
Personally, apart from my own weird slicer-less Gcode generation toolchain and the venerable Skeinforge for my dinosaur Rapmans I use Slic3r for my Delta but I've heard of others using Cura? I use Cura myself for my Ultimaker and I've seen it rapidly gaining features but somehow seems like Slic3r creates Gcode with less moves.
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I craft my own Gcode...

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Little show-off of a recent print run we did using our Viscotec based printer. Layer thickness is 0.5mm, nozzle is pink-20 gauge or 0.6mm, print speed is 20mm/sec. The clay is a porcelain with 9% pigment. You can observe the consistent extrusion speed of the Viscotec system which doesn't have to be adjusted between different clay batches & viscosities or different air pressures on the clay inlet feed. So I don't do any flow rate adjustments when switching between clay batches, they all come out at exactly the same volume & speed, so a true volumetric extrusion system.

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+Frédéric Pagace mentioned a Wasp extruder in a recent question and it took me a while to realise that they released an updated V2 of their LDM extruder for clay. Interesting!

+WASP Team you folks should post here more about your progress, sure a lot of people are interested in that! Will you release this extruder as open source like v1?

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in response to +Tai Rogers. First image you see a plain cube on the right and a cube + small object on the left. This is the view in '2D' mode in Slic3r. Next you see an image from 'preview' mode with the bottom infill and you see that the 0.1mm small object is to low to appear in the first layer. Last image shows the 4th layer with infill and you can see that the pattern is shifted. Playing with the placement of the small object will move your object center point and thus your infill origin.
3 Photos - View album

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Great extensive writeup by the great folks at +Nervous System about their experience with using +Tethon3D's Porcelite ceramic 3d print resin for SLA style printing.

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We were talking moineau extruders last week and I mentioned my biggest issue was with mechanical strength of some parts. Cue in this newsletter of 3D-Hubs. Maybe this is interesting?
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