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Pointer Trowel

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MOST Delta filament as guide.JPG This page was part of an MTU course MSE4777 OA and MSE4777 OB/MSE5777/EE4777/EE5777: Open-source 3-D printing

Please leave comments using the discussion tab. The course runs in the Fall semester. It is not open edit.

Project Title[edit]

Project developed by Agbretz (talk) 02:42, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
This OSAT has been prototyped.

You can help Appropedia by contributing to the next step in this OSAT's status.


A pointer trowel is used in masonry to fill in joints. It has an angled, pointed end that can be used to get mortar into tight spaces. This tool was designed with appropriate technology in mind. The trowel is a simple design that can be easily changed through it's FreeCAD file and it is designed to be printed without the use of support material to save plastic. Many forms of building construction require the use trowels, whether it is in adding mortar between bricks or grout between tiles. Since many buildings in third world countries are made in a masonry style, this tool would be very useful and cost efficient for those who would need it.


Bill of Materials[edit]

  • 1 PLA printed pointer trowel

The stl file and the FreeCAD source code are located on youmagine:[1]

Tools needed for fabrication of the OSAT[edit]

MOST Delta RepRap or similar RepRap 3-D printer

Skills and Knowledge Necessary to Make the OSAT[edit]

No skills are necessary to make this tool but a general knowledge of Masonry would be necessary to use the tool properly.

Technical Specifications and Assembly Instructions[edit]

Printer Settings:

  • 0.3mm layer height
  • 1mm wall thickness with 3 walls
  • 1mm top/bottom thickness with 4 layers
  • Infill density of 35%
  • Print speed at 65 mm/s
  • No support material
  • PLA

The 39g part takes approximately 2 hours to print and no assembly is required.

Common Problems and Solutions[edit]

  • Printing with less than 3 wall layers critically reduces the strength of the handle.
  • Since the handle is printed on a steep angle, the print quality decreases on the underside of it. Print cooling may help to minimize this reduction in quality but further testing is required.

Cost savings[edit]

  • Cost to Print: 39g @ $16.00 per kg = $0.62
  • 3D Printing Commercial Design: $3.00 [2]
  • Commercial Item: $13.97 [3]
  • Savings on design: this design is open source so it has a 100% savings at $3.00 compared to the commercial deisgn
  • Savings on commercial item: 95.5% savings at $13.35

Benefited Internet Communities[edit]

  • Do-It-Yourself: [4]
  • Requests for 3D Printed Open Source Appropriate Technology: [5]
  • Open Source 3D Printing Community: [6]
  • Mason Contractors Association of America: [7]
  • National Concrete Masonry Association: [8]


For more background information: [1]

  1. web page: Wikipedia (Trowel) Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trowel