Saturday, August 3, 2013

More clay extruding

Inside of a Gecko G540
 After about a month of dealing with a broken cnc and controller I have finally gotten my second clay extruder working. My Gecko G540 stepper controller blew a fuse. It uses a soldered in 7 amp fuse and is not the sort of thing I can get locally. So I ordered a few and when they came in I soldered one in and ... one channel of the controller was not working. So, I ordered another G250 from Geckodrive. I also sent an email to Gecko and they said send in the bad G250 and they will evaluate it, fix it (if possible), and send it back. I have not done so yet but I would like to offer a thank you to gecko for offering great customer service. In the picture of the drive you can see the bearing that started my month worth of trouble.

Second Clay Extruder
The new extruder looks nicer and works well but has some troubles. It will work until I get a third, hopefully better, built. The lower platform is too big and I can only print one thing at a time. If I try and printing a second something after printing a first more than 1 1/2" tall the lower platform bumps into the thing I first printed. This will be an easy fix. The other problem is that the clay leaked out the side of the PVC pipe when I start printing. I ended up hot gluing the pipe into the printer to stop this from happening. It works but it will be a little extra trouble when I have to put more clay into the tube. Still, the whole thing is about 10" shorter than  the last one and holds about 4 times more clay.

Flower in unfired vase.
Here are a few pictures I took of things I have printed with my first extruder. They were mostly just experimental shapes but I did manage to sell three of them. The picture with just three things are the three I sold. Sorry some of the pictures are upside down. I was putting "resist" on the bottoms. Apparently, when I glaze them the glaze came flow down the side and then stick to the bottom of the kiln. I have painted the glaze on about half and I hope to get the rest done this week.
Fresh, still on the printer.

Clay things.

And finally, another timelapse of clay printing: