Robotic Clay 3D Printing

A clay extruder is the latest addition to the set of tools available for use with CAP’s KUKA robot.

Even though it looks similar in concept to plastic filament-based (FDM) 3D printing, printing with clay is a very different animal because it is a cold extrusion process.  The clay has to be formulated just right to make it viscous enough to extrude while still holding its form and being able to support any subsequent layers.  Additionally, our extruder is not designed to be able to stop and start quickly, so it performs best with continuous extrusion prints, such as the spiral approach shown in the videos below.

Once a print is complete, it then has to dry (sometimes taking multiple days) and then be fired in a kiln, made possible by arrangement with the BSU Ceramics department.  During drying and firing the printed object shrinks substantially, so the model for the print has to be scaled with that in mind.

Interested in getting involved?  Contact Colby Gray for more information.