What compressor do i need for my 3d printer?

Compressed air is necessary for the operation of LDM 3D printers.

The pressure is used to push the piston inside the tank, in order to make the material flow inside the extruder.

For this reason, a supply of compressed air at a pressure of at least 10 bar is needed at the machine inlet.

The printer only needs pressure when printing and does not draw much air from the compressor, which only turns on when it needs to restore pressure.

The connection must be made with an 8 mm diameter nylon hose (external diameter) connected to the adjustable pressure control valve, mounted on the machine.

WASP recommends a compressor with the following characteristics to power any Delta WASP Clay model:

Capacity: at least 50 liters;
Pressure: at least 10 bar;
Oil/oil-free: preferably oil-free;
Silenced: preferably yes.

A compressor like the one mentioned above allows you to power up to a maximum of 3 Delta WASP Clay printers.

It is recommended not to connect other devices and accessories to the compressor dedicated to the printer.

Compressors with lower capacities could cause discontinuity in pressure.

The pressure control is present on the machine so it is not necessary for the compressor to be near the printer.


Can i use chamotte, paper clay or other aggregates?

The aggregates within the printing mixtures can be useful for changing their properties and facilitating printing.

CHAMOTTE

Chamotte (also called grog) is a powder obtained from the ground ceramic material after firing. It can be added to clayey mixtures to modify its properties.

Recommended for use with large prints to avoid collapses and reduce deformations during cooking.

PAPER CLAY

Name used for clay-based mixtures with the addition of cellulose fibers (paper).

It can help during printing to reduce collapse and promote drying. During cooking the fibers burn leaving porosity.

MAXIMUM DIMENSIONS

In LDM 3D printing, the maximum grain size values ​​for the aggregates added to the mix depend on the type of extruder:
LDM extruder (3.0 and earlier): max diameter 0.2 mm
LDM XL extruder (2.0 and earlier): max diameter 0.5 mm

Particle size values ​​higher than those stated above can irreversibly wear the extruder and clog the printing nozzle.


How to open the tank?

From 2019 the new tanks for the  Delta WASP Clay and the Clay kits are available.. Just follow the instruction from the  following video.


How to load the tank with the dough?

Prepare an homogeneous and without air bubbles dough.
You can hand paste the dough or for big quantity you can use a mixer.
Just watch the video to see two different  loading-ways.


How can I manage the correct printing flow?

During printing, the best method to check if the flow is correct is to verify  the thickness of the layers while being printed.
Then check that the layers  are perfectly closed each other and at the same time do not create over abundances of material thatmight irty the print and the nozzle.

high flow
low flow
correct flow

How can I recognize that the clay is ready to be used for 3D printing?

Depending on the type of material you want to use, the goal is to reach a mixture that is fluid enough to be able to come out from the small nozzles but at the same time hard enough to avoid collapse during printing.
It is therefore a matter of adding or removing water from the dough.
To determine when the material has the right characteristics for printing, just use the syringe supplied with the printer or the WASP Clay Kit.

Then:
Put the material inside the syringe. (any normal 5 ml syringe is good for this use – just cut the edge)
Push the piston up to 1 ml notch – You can have three different options:

  1. the material is horizontal. this dough is too hard 
    hard material

     

  2. The material immediately collapses down. This dough is too soft 
    soft material

     

  3. The material slightly collapses down. This dough is correct 
    correct material

     

A further test is to verify that , once the dough in under pressure inside the tank – when coming out,  the correct pressure must be between 4 and 5 bar.


Delta WASP 2040 Clay set up

https://youtu.be/wHFNdyTpn6Q

 


Cleaning LDM WASP Extruder

https://youtu.be/ixqavmlMWWM


Can I change speed and flow while printing?

LDM printing by its nature involves working with mixtures that can vary from each other with different characteristics of consistency, humidity, homogeneity, rheology.
This requires greater flexibility in the printing process.

For this reason the WASP printers allow during the printing process a real time tuning of significant values ​​for the process.
Changing these values ​​will modify the gcode reading (without modifying the gcode itself).
Changing the flow and speed values ​​to print in the best possible way is not to be considered an error or a "fallback" but is part of the development of each mixture and is therefore a recommended practice.


Manual Leveling

Manual leveling is a procedure used to restore the flatness of the print bed with respect to the printer reference.
Leveling is part of the machine’s calibration values and the right value is essential for good operation.
This value is automatically saved by the machine during autocalibration.

In machines not compatible with the self-calibration system it is necessary to use the Change height procedure before leveling the table, to obtain a correct calibration.

When a floor is not leveled correctly, various problems can be encountered, as shown in the figure.
This can cause detachment in parts where the printer reference is higher than the real one and collisions where the printer reference is lower than the real one.

The leveling of the plate is based on the Cartesian principle of the plane passing through three points.
As you can see in the figure, there are three adjustment points arranged around the plate according to the vertices of an equilateral triangle (POSITION 1,2,3)
By properly adjusting each of these points with respect to the printer reference (physically represented by the nozzle), the correct flatness for printing is obtained.
There is also a fourth central position (POSITION 0) that is not adjustable but sensitive to other adjustments. It is useful during the leveling process

Each printer has different handles or screws for the regulation of the bed leveling.

WASP 40100 Clay: When printing directly on the floor it’s not needed to level the machine.
Use abundant flow values of the first layer for ensuring a good adhesion.


Can I use the dough left in the tank for several days?

The mixtures for LDM 3D printing are suitable for use as long as they are in their correct range of consistency and humidity.

If a mixture is left free to dry on a table in a few minutes / hours it could become useless and require re-kneading.

A mixture inside the closed tank, on the other hand, can be kept for several days thanks to the insulation from the outside that prevents moisture from escaping.

To ensure that the mixture is kept as long as possible:

  • Immediately remove all pressure from the tank at the end of the print;
  • Seal the tip of the nozzle hermetically with adhesive tape (to prevent the material close to the outlet from hardening).

The amount of days that can pass without compromising the mixture depends on various factors but above all on the initial consistency of the material and the environment.