Heavy Clay Factory

A little later in the year I will need images and possibly videos of architectural clay products manufacture for a talk I am giving. As I haven’t worked in the industry for over 10 years and no longer have the contacts to get hold of photos .etc I have decided to build my own factory equipment based on a bit of memory and any relevant google images

First off will be a clay Extruder.


A little bit of progress with the model.

Every large machine needs a powerful motor to drive it.


good beginning
elec motor !
proportions don’t look good - too long
no connection box - how do you feed it with power ?

I did a few elec motor I can show some if needed
let me know

why doing it in clay I mean in EEVEE you do have a clay world render
so very easy to do or even choose different colors for all objects
so many ways to render now in 2.8

have fun
happy bl

Hi Ricky

At the moment I am only concentrating on modelling the basics of the machinery, I haven’t applied any materials just a HDRI and F12 render to show the basics as the machinery develop. The renders will become more detailed as I do more with the model and scene.

The model so far doesn’t give any indication of the scale of these machines, that will come as I add walkways and gantries. The combination of mixer & extruder stand at around 15 metres long and over 3 metres high, driven by 500 horse power motors. The switch-gear cabinets are around the size of 4 wardrobes, all that will be added with time.

It’s early days yet, and there’s a long way to go with this project, but I might take a bit of time and improve in these early WIP renders.

what is done with these big clay extruder machine ?
I did see some Plastic extruder but not for clay LOL

500 HP is a big motor
what speed - voltage - freq is it ?
is it a VFD motor ?

usually a 500 HP takes a cabinet around 32" wide by 8 foot high
I guess you got other motors and controler too

will follow - like the mechanical things in blender

happy bl

These are usually used for building bricks, hollow blocks and sometimes clay drainage pipes. It was over 10 years ago when I worked in this industry. I think the motor was an induction motor 440v three phase 50hz.

A little more progress, the motor is added and a viewport render with MatCap

I think adding the mixer gantry has started to bring a sense of scale to this machine.

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scale ?
adding a human character around might help a lot !

did you do a real cat walk grating or alpha map ?

is it done in cycles or EEVEE ?

happy cl

Still adding ever increasing levels of detail, yet lots still to do.

@RickyBlender: The humans and possibly forklifts will come when I work on the final factory scene / animation. For now there are still a lot of machine components needed. The gantry floor grating is modelled, I might substitute it for alpha maps if the final scene becomes too slow to animate on my old computer. The output is just a view render using Workbench. I will probably start a project page soon on my website

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I think the basics are there for the modelling. Next will be adding some materials and housing it in a factory shed.

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Fortunately I had modelled a portal frame shed for a previous project so I have appended it to this scene and started adding a few materials.

Added a few drying racks around the Extruder and temporarily borrowed a forklift from Blendswap that was made by irokrhus, which is beginning to set the scene.

Still to do:
Add a clay feed conveyor,
Add a cutter to the clay column conveyor.
Add roller shutter doors to the drying bays.
Add hot air ducting and chimneys to the drying bays.
Create physics simulation of the clay being fed through the double shafted mixer.
Animation of the clay column being cut.

A fair bit of work just for this small section of the presentation.

just curious here
at what temperature is it dried up ?
when I think of roof clay tiles
this probably requires like over 1000 Deg F to get hard clay tiles !

and this is not a continuous sequential process like a plaster board factory

happy bl

@RickyBlender - its way over 1000 F, to fire terracotta (marl) clay you are looking to be in the region of 1000 C, buff fireclays around 1100 C. The drying bays are just hot air bays to get the moisture out of the clay before they go to the kilns.

On small batch architectural production it’s not sequential, but brick works can be. There are fully automated brick works making around 0.5M bricks per day.


Had a bit more time to add some detail into the drying bays.

I have ran a quick rigid body physics simulation to see if I can show how material is both mixed and transported by the double shafted mixer paddles. Even with friction turned up and bounce down, it is a little bouncy but settles as the mixer fills up.