View Full Version : anyone make an caulk 3d printer? (silicone caulk with sped up cure using water)

04-11-2018, 04:26 PM
I have it in my head that a 3d printer could be made out of silicone caulk using an ultrasonic humidifier to supply the water. basically that is it... there is a humidifier constantly covering the print area with mist and an extruder constantly pressing thin layers of silicone together (layers with a bit of water in between them).

maybe silicone diluted with mineral spirits will get better flow characteristics out of a nozzle and better penetration from the water mist? I want to 3d print "soft actuators" but also tough materials like metal.

04-11-2018, 04:48 PM
Interesting idea. What is the cure time of silicone caulk with a water mist? A typical 3D printer can print another layer after a very short cure time, something like 1 second. It would take forever to print something if you have a 1 minute cure time.


04-11-2018, 10:43 PM
Wouldn't the water act as a release, preventing the layers from adhering to each other? There are syringe-type printers which work with paste-consistency materials like clay and caulk, but I've never heard of them using water. How are you planning to print in metal?

04-12-2018, 12:10 AM
@steve323 - silicone in water will form a skin in seconds and after a minute the skin can be thick. If silicone is actively mixed with some water it turns white and cures hard in minutes. Since the layers are thin and the water droplets are tiny there may not be a long delay between layers the biggest problem is supporting a flexible model (lucky its relatively cheap). FYI the silicone I am thinking about is "GE Silicone I*"

@awerby - I don't think the water will act as a release agent. IMO small amounts will be absorbed quickly especially under pressure of a new layer being printed. Some low temperature alloys (some melt with just body heat) could be printed but I was thinking about casting in silicone molds.

I wonder if the mist would cause small amounts of cured silicone to build up on the nozzle eventually blocking the flow

04-12-2018, 04:51 PM
Get a tube of silicone caulk and squirt some out. Dump some water on it, and then try to add more caulk. See how well it sticks. Then let us know, okay?

04-12-2018, 08:27 PM
I don't have any silicone caulk handy... Just a thing to think about I guess but printing with flexible material would be tricky

04-13-2018, 11:59 AM
Does it have to be silicon? What about using ninja flex filament?

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07-20-2018, 12:20 PM
Does it have to be silicon? What about using ninja flex filament?

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Or if you really feel like trying different materials, how about using a hot glue gun. It hardens much quicker than silicone. There are many types of hot glue. Some are more flexible than the standard "craft" type.

08-21-2018, 01:05 PM

Please send me an email. I've been trying to get in touch with you.
I saw that you worked at Yamezen (from another post) and am wondering
if you have worked on a Brother TC-22A?

Email: toolnuts@hotmail.com


Paul Hoffman