Bricoleur Clay Extruder

An auger extruder for 3d printing clay

3D printer parts and enhancements

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This is an open-source clay extruding print head that can be used on numerous 3d printers. It is a work in progress. It is based on pioneering work by Unfold , Jonathan Keep , the Wasp Group , and more. The project was initiated by Tom Lauerman at Penn State University, School of Visual Arts and is being developed in collaboration with Engineering Students as part of the University's Learning Factory program . The work is supported, in part, by Penn State’s Center for Innovative Material Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D, )

This is only the print head portion of the design. An entire printer system is in active development and can be found here: . Please follow my newer clay printer developments here:

For a complete parts list check the "Bill Of Materials" section. The print head costs about $30 USD to build (excluding printed parts).
A recent video of the system in use can be found here:
An older video of the whole system can be found here: . A video of the print head working can be found here: .

Materials and methods

Printer Brand:

Prusa i3



.2, .3, or .4mm


I printed in PLA just because that is what I had on hand. The parts are not subjected to any heat, so just about any materials would work.


After printing, remove support columns from extruder body. A pliers or scissors should do just fine.

Bill Of Materials

All the parts needed to build this open source clay extruder:

-Printed extruder

-Printed Base

-Nema 17 stepper motor (I purchased mine from Lulzbot: , $13.95)

Aluminum coupler - 5mm on both ends. (I purchased mine from Inventables: , $6.95)

-1/2" Flat faucet washer. I purchased a pack of 10 at Home Depot for $1.69, (the outside dimension of this rubber washer is 3/4", the inside diameter is 1/8". It is 1/8" thick. (Why is this called a 1/2" washer?))

-Deck Screw 1/4" x 4". I bought mine at a local Ace Hardware for $1.60. I used a "Timber-Tite" brand - here's a pack of 50 at Amazon, . I'd imagine any similar screw would work, perhaps better.

-Cake decorating tips. This is the "nozzle" of the print head. There are numerous shapes and sizes available, all of which could work potentially. Two brands which fit this extruder are Ateco , and PME . The Ateco ones are about $1 each, the PME are about $6 each. Cake decorating Pros rave about the more expensive PME tips .

-3/8" x 3/8" push fit male adapter. I got mine at Lowe's for $3.49. . Here's he same one on Amazon

-(4) M3 x 14mm Socket Cap Screws. Approx. $0.15 at any hardware store.

-(2) M4 x 20mm Socket Cap Screws. Approx. $0.15 at any hardware store.

-(2) M4 Wing Nuts. Approx. $0.75 at any hardware store.

-(totally optional) plastic thumb screw heads M3 & M4. These make it easy to remove screws without a wrench. I purchased these at McMaster Carr ,

-(totally optional) 4 pin JST connectors. I solder these onto my motor wires to make attaching and detaching the extruder motor really simple. I switch between plastic and clay printing frequently and am always swapping print heads. I bought these on Amazon

Total Cost: $29.58 (excluding printed parts)



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C124dd10b3808cf9bc9935c7df3fc156?default=blank&size=40berna added this to the cosas por hacer collection ago
06a4749003ae7df9c23c918804ec64fd?default=blank&size=40Talos Fpv added this to the PARTS collection ago
28c769786940c98d3b655e2a7dea9e7e?default=blank&size=40Lauhaus published this design ago