Open Source Ball Mill (Continous Flow Version)

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  • Part of the Open Source Laboratory Construction Set
  • It is essentially a cylendar placed on its side, it has an axis going down the center of it's axis as well (preendicular to the circle faces), this is spun causing the material placed inside to repeatidly fall carying ball bearings with them, these then meet and collide on the cylendar walls
  • The material is flowing into one side, and is run in a ball mill section
  • This material then passes to an internal screen/mesh/diaphram to select particle size, this can be done in phases
  • Finally the product exits the other side
    • To help this many are often tilted at a small angle
  • Dust explosions May be a hazard

Use Cases

Generally Used For

  • Making powder for Selective Laser Sintering 3D Printers
  • Powderization of solids
  • Mixing of said powders

3D Printing Uses

Ball mills can be used to grind down a medium to a powder, which could be useful for the application of selective laser sintering, where a powder (ie: plastic, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, etc) is sintered into a 3d model by a laser.

Eric's Comments on Your Comments (Comment-ception)

  • First of, cool respirator + face sheild! I was looking at the version that added a flip down welding mask. Expensive, but useful. How often do you need to relace the blower cartriges?
  • Anyhow on the note of using aluminum powder, it might work, but I am unsure if the oxidzaion of the powder could effect anything. Otherwise though it might be fine.
  • Another option is to start with plastic sls/slm and work our way up from there? This design that was at MRRF could work, albeit in a less gittery and more D3D form.

Industry Standards

Minimum Viable Products

  • Scaleable
  • Modular (Each "stage" is a connectable module perhaps?)
  • Long life for internal mesh etc
  • Noise Reduction
  • AC or DC input power

Basic Design


  • A cylendrical container in which the grinding takes place
  • Needs to Be Durable
  • Also has the addition of the axis through the middle


  • The part that takes the rotation from the modor and adapts it to the axle of container
  • Could be as simple as direct attatchment or much more complex



Power Supply


  • The shell in which all the above componets are contained


  • Stainless Steel Ball Bearings work well for most cases
  • Ceramic or Teflon are better for more reactive substances


Other DIY Ball Mills

  • Gizmology version - [1]

Internal Links

External Links