Week 38

I’ve been having some issues with the rear carriage. Sometime last week it was so loose in the track that it fell loose while printing. Haha, yikes. I’ve researched about how to get it in and adjust it using the eccentric nut on one of the wheels. This fixed it part way, but after I found I was having troubles with the parking action being too tight. This was causing the head to be pulled right as it began its decent, thus loosing the correct Max Z value. I adjusted this nut on the rear carriage, and really happy with how much more smooth its going.

I printed a test at maximum diameter.
Only printed half as I was having to hold the canister and move it towards and away from the printer depending on where the head was printing. I will fix this by creating a rig and hanging the canister.

Categorized as LDM Journal


Tall twisting oval “particle” vessel
65psi, 30 min

This one didnt have the UV map for density distribution.
Also, the center body was offset so there should be no instance which has a 90deg from main surface

Printed great.

Categorized as LDM Journal

Week 37

Canister ran out of clay for the first time.
Re-wet next amount, load following day etc. Working on technique to load, still hard to minimize air bubbles. 1st time I placed the clay on the board and shoved canister down onto it, this worked well, but when I inverted the canister all the clay slid to the other end, maybe too much silicone lubricant? This time I clumped balls together and dropped them down the canister, not great, still clearly a lot of air.

After this I was printing at 80psi, and printed a great print (9/13), but 5min into the following print the push to connect at the exit of the canister failed, and the full amount of the clay blew out and shot across the room. Big mess. Probably pushing it too much with the pressure, needed at first but could have turned down. Really the problem was the chewed up end of the 12mm hose and the push to connect lost grip. Cut off end and works fine. Will order new tubing via McMaster.

Reloaded canister (using load edge and push to back technique seen in early JK video) and now running at around 60-65 psi. Working pretty well.

Categorized as LDM Journal


2nd Particle Vase

Tallest, longest print yet.
1st half printed well, second half with bubbles.

First takeaways from both this and 9/13 shapes are that the size of the geometry and the angle at which it emerges from main body cause some small holes at shelfs.

Also, I intentionally faceted the main body, but with this number of faces it looks like a mistake.

Categorized as LDM Journal


1st “Particle” Vessel – Low Poly shape with randomly distributed instances of basic geometric shapes using UV map for density control.

Categorized as LDM Journal


91deg (hot day)

2×2 “Tile”
~0.375″ Thick
Fell over at 40%

3×3 Tile
~0.625″ Thick
22 min
1 massive air bubble with full layer lost (visible)

Double Cone test
Experimenting with two intersecting bodies overlapping.
Cura removes material at overlap (or only does outside faces, but that would fail, ?)
Will the two bodies bond despite no material at seam?

1st print successful, with bond but major pulling issue when print head switches from body to body. I attempted to fix this a few different ways with the Cura settings. I tried to implement retraction at layer change, but this picked up the whole print.
I was able to print without the pulling, with retraction turned on but no z hop, and combing turned to both.
Changing maybe too many things in the Cura and not sure why it worked.
But print came out, and I dropped the printhead into it, so printed again, and came out again.

Categorized as LDM Journal

Week 36

The Rig:
I had purchased 8″ hex tile to print on from Home Depot, but decided they were too hard (didn’t want print head falling into ceramic surface) so returned and purchased 42 clipboards from amazon for 30$. Cut off clip part, they’re a little lightweight, but work fine.

Overall system seems to be working, generally running around 55psi

9/3 institute photography setup
5D 25″ from target (at 30″) camera at 39″H
100mm Macro Lens
1 Profoto left of light @60″, 30deg uptilt, at 4.0
Little bit of natural light from right, white backdrop

Categorized as LDM Journal



Double walled shape with connecting (1layer) bottom
PSI 55
Failure at 55% best
Pulling while switching volumes
Bottom lattice working ok, but open
Later prints (9/9) of this with 3 layers will not work.

Rectangle with 2 layer bottom, 1 curved face
50, 55, 60psi
3 trys, but bottom fills in (at higher psi)

Abstract shape (via 1st try with blender) – Just to see
Happy with the result
Abstract Shape
Abstract Shape

Categorized as LDM Journal

9/3 – Cone Tests

Switched to a more regular shape as it will be clearer to identify print troubles (opposed to shape/form troubles)

Cone w/ 10deg Tilt
1 wall, Spiral
52psi (change from bar for exactness)
13min, * first “successful” clay print *
Cone Test - 10 deg

Cone w/ 20deg Tilt
1 wall, Spiral
Cone Test - 20 deg

Cone w/ 30deg Tilt

Cone Test - 30 deg

Cone w/ 40deg Tilt

13min – Near perfect finish
Cone Test - 40 deg

Cone w/ 50deg Tilt
14min – 1 major air bubble w/ full layer loss, but no collapse
beginnings of deformation during drying
Cone Test - 50 deg

Cone w/ 60deg Tilt
5min, failure with deformation. Big air bubble with collapse, however recovered, just slump (also 2″ air gap in hose, no apparent result in print)
Cone Test - 60 deg

I tried this cone 3 times, with various slump problems. Tried a hair dryer to accelerate drying as its coming out, however lightweight nature of the clipboard bucks, piece moved during print.
60 degree maybe too much, though it looks like with some fussing it might come out
Cone Test - 60 deg
Cone Test - 60 deg

Categorized as LDM Journal

9/2 – First Tests

I attempted to print a vessel shape that I designed back in 2017. Clearly a little overconfident. This part leans, and is asymmetric, which was not great for a first test.
These first three tests were run to about 50% but all were “failures”
Printing at 4 bar, spiral single-wall
While these look terrible and have lots of air bubbles present, disrupting the surface, they were the first prints to build any clay at all, so they are saved here for posterity.
1st Test
1st Test
1st Test

Again try same shape, but even worse, failing within 10% (10mm)
Printing at 3.5 bar, not enough pressure
1st Test

Week 34 & 35

Order from Wasp arrives.

Upon arrival I found that the new nozzle threading doesn’t match the extruder that I have. Maybe mine is 2.0?

New canister is a very pretty object, but it did not come with the “tank support” they suggested I ask for.

Purchased hose and fittings for air system. With little documentation online about the items used in the Wasp parts, as well as a bit of lack of info in general about small air fittings, I went through many purchases and returns to get the system up.

The earlier BOV I bought had 1/4″ NPT (tapered) connector, but the taper didn’t reduce as much as needed, so this part wasn’t fitting into 1/4″ NPT holes in different parts of my system. This meant that I was searching for what type of threading was being used, when in fact I had already known. Despite Wasp being a European brand, it seems they are using imperial parts for the air connectors. Also, it seems that all the push to connect fittings have the 1/4″ NPT taper much further than the quick connect brass pieces. Also, I did run into a quick mix-up with the brass fittings as I purchased automotive connectors at first and needed “industrial” connectors.

Compressor 8 Bar > Regulator @ 6 Bar> Hose with quick connect > Regulator to adjust flow (changes to push to connect) > 6mm OD Nylon Tube > Canister > 12mm OD Nylon Tube > LDM Head

Much of this week was spent attempting to get the system working, after several leaks and issues, I got the pressure system working and still was running into troubles with the print head.

At first I thought that maybe my clay body was too hard, so I softened further.
Still not working, I observed the auger not spinning. The RJ45 connector which I had plugged into the cord that connected to the Red Spitfire connector (E1) turned out to be wrong, and needed to connect to the filament feeder connector (F1). This then caused the auger to spin. However I was still not getting results.

I spent a lot of time trying like this, more and more pressure (7 bar!) but at best was having the clay come out the top of the extruder. JK’s journal shows he put “hardening putty” on the top of the auger (above clay entry) to prevent the clay from climbing. I did this, but before I could try, I read about the auger direction problem that some people were experiencing. Switched internal wiring, auger spins correct direction! Eureka! (9/1)

Week 31

The Rig:
Purchased 2x M3 x 12mmL screws / nuts to connect LDM print head.

In doing so I discovered that I was missing a connector (Modu to RJ45) needed to connect the LDM extruder. (Searching for this info online fruitless, but found the answer through Wasp support)

I placed an order for a larger 2mm nozzle, and a new updated design of the canister, and Wasp threw in the connector gratis, all to be delivered week 34, after summer holiday.