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Technologies 2017, 5(3), 50; doi:10.3390/technologies5030050

Paste Extruder—Hardware Add-On for Desktop 3D Printers

Faculty of Engineering and Management of Technological Systems, University Politehnica of Bucharest, București 060042, Romania
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Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
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Abstract

This paper presents the design, development and testing of a paste/clay extrusion device intended to be used as a drop-in replacement for the conventional thermoplastic extruder of a desktop filament-based 3D printer. A plastic cylinder loaded with gel, paste or clay material is placed into the device. Feedstock is pressed through an extrusion nozzle by a piston driven by an electrically actuated drive-screw and nut mechanism. The device allows the build material to heat up to 80 °C. Forced air cooling is used to assist the cooling or hardening process of the freshly-printed material during fabrication. The feedstock container, nozzle, and material-loading process are all suitable for use in a sterile environment. The device is designed for seamless integration with existing 3D printing firmware and slicing software. After designing the device, a prototype was produced and installed on a 3D printer. Silicone and acrylic polymers, as well as dental gel, were used to fabricate 3D printed sample objects. View Full-Text
Keywords: additive manufacturing; 3D printing; paste extrusion; fused deposition modeling additive manufacturing; 3D printing; paste extrusion; fused deposition modeling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Amza, C.G.; Zapciu, A.; Popescu, D. Paste Extruder—Hardware Add-On for Desktop 3D Printers. Technologies 2017, 5, 50.

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