With amazing help of our backers we have reached the goal within 12 hours!
We introduce Ceramic 3D Printing KIT, the first commercial product, launched by the StoneFlower team. The KIT includes the robust light-weight and easy-to-use print head (equipped with Auger extruder) and powerful motorized syringe pump for direct volumetric clay feeding. Being installed in the "standard" desktop 3D Printer, this KIT lets everyone to print with clay or porcelain. The KIT can be upgraded with a small syringe to experiment with pulp, wax, or even food, make custom jewelry from metal clay, automatically deposit glases on ceramics, paints on canvas or soldering paste on PCBs.
Ceramic 3D Printing KIT includes a universal print head and a syringe pump for viscous liquids and pastes that is compatible with most FDM printers. The print head deposits materials in layers as thin as 0.3 mm that is comparable to the accuracy of FDM 3d printing. The capacity of the pump is 500ml or 900g of clay. The KIT will be available at Kickstarter in January 2018 for 450 euro. Delivery is planned in April 2018.
Here is the short video, illustrating the work of the Ceramic 3D Printing KIT.
Designing the KIT we studied a number of existing technical solutions for clay printing, and spent over 6 month to optimize mechanics, hydrodynamics and electronics of our product. We found, that the feeding of the clay and other liquids with a compressed air, being the most popular solution, has low reproducibility and requires a lot of fine-tuning. To facilitate printing, we implemented a syringe pump, which turned out to be exceptionally accurate, safe and more silent than the air compressor.
Now the StoneFlower Ceramic 3D Printing KIT works even with thick just slightly diluted clay, providing mechanically stable prints. Optimized print head, equipped with an Auger extruder, removes air bubbles from manually mixed clay and does not suffer from leaks. Moreover, this is the first print head of this kind that one can conveniently assemble and disassemble for cleaning by hands, without instruments.
Volume of the pump 500 ml (about 900 g of clay)
Printing speed 20 ... 100 mm/s
Reccomended speed 30 ... 60 mm/s (3mm nozzle)
Available nozzle diameters 1 ... 4 mm
Layer thickness 0.3 ... 1.5 mm (3mm nozzle)
Nozzle thread 1/4"
Weight of the printhead 400g
Our startup actively contributes to the Open Source movement. The DIY-ers can benefit from the fact that the KIT has a minimum of customized parts, to simplify maintenance, component replacement and upgrades. The prototype of the clay extruder is freely available here. In the future, we are planning to keep posting free designs in parallel with the product development. The founders participate in specialized communities with their engineering experience.