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13. Applications and implications

What will I do

The answer for this question can be seen in my Final Project Page.

As I have been advancing in the project, I have centered the extrusion to Bio-Materials.

Who has done what before

I am going to post links to instagram pages, or thingiverse projects I have been follow, to get ideas of how to design the problems solution:

Clay Extrusion

Bricoleur Extruder Design

Air Preassure Based System

Plunger Extruder

3D Printed BioMaterials Receipe

Mussel Shell + Alginate

Mussel Shell + Sucrose Composite

Kombucher Fiber 3D Printer

What will you design

The extrusion system:


It consiste of two main subsystems:

The Tank

The objective of the tank is to store the material before it is extruded. It also has to apply enough pressure to the material to generate a flow that goes to the extruder, lets remember that most of this materials are viscous, and are suffering of pressure loss.

There are 2 ways of applying this pressure, using a motor (DC or stepper) or using an air pump.


They are different forms to give a more constant flow to the extruded material:

Aplying a constant pressure directly to the material: 2

Auger Screw 3

I’m working at the moment in a tank + auger screw extrusion system.

What materials and components will be used?

I am not completly sure of how the project will look at the end of the hole process, but this is the listof materials I expect to use: - EcoFlex for molds

  • 3D printer filament

  • Stepper motor Nema 23 and 17

  • Motor coupling

  • Auger Screw

  • Linear Bearings

  • Ball Bearings

  • Linear Axis

Where will they come from?

This question is answered in the following two questions.

How much will they cost?

Qty Description Price Link Notes
2 LM8UU Linear Bearings 1.00 $ Order many, as those packages are more convinient than the unit price.
2 Chrome Linear Guides 6.00 $
1 Nema 23 Steel Mounting Support 6.59 $
1 Nema 23 Lead Screw 112.49 $
1 Ball Bearing 6.97 $ This one is expensive, but you just need it to fit your lead screw from the motor.
2 O’Ring 1.52 $ I used a 50mm diam with a 3mm thickness
1 Thread Seal 1.2 $
1 Ultimaker Filament 75 $
1 EcoFLex 39 $
1 Nema 17 14 $
1 Nema 17 Motor coupling 7.86 $ Its a pack of 2 coupling

*This costs are an estimation and could vary through the finnal project development.

What part or systems will be made?

From the tank:

In case it is motor based:

The whole piston system, and the parts that ataches the system to the machine.

A first version has already been developed, you can see it in this link

In case I use the air system:

I will buy a syringe that will act as a tank, so I will build the closure, and seals for the air system.

From the extruder:

I will build the whole system, with the expception of the motor.

This includes:

  • Auger Screw
  • Auger Chamber
  • Motor Base
  • Motor Coupling
  • Nozzle
  • Seal

What process will I use?

  • 3D printing
  • Laser cutting
  • Molding and casting

What question needs to be answered?

In the case of the BioMtaterial 3D printing, the main challenge I will face is the capacity that this material has to be 3D printed. It has to fullfil two requierments:

  • Having a low enough viscosity to enable the material to flow through the tank and extruder.
  • Sustain itself in order to make a layer based part.

In case the material fails, I am going to test the system using clay, a material that has been proven to work.

How will it be evaluated?

The competence of the 3D printer extruder to work with a viscous material.