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Qotw: Have You Ever Or Even Considered Doing 3D Printing?

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  • Judith B. posted this in the question pool: I'd love to see a question about 3D printing in ceramics  :) I will edit her post into a question: Have you ever or even considered doing 3D printing?

     

    I have never done 3D printing, but am intrigued with the possibilities. just the idea that a part for a device could be printed at home, and installed to fix it. . . . Printer costs will continue to drop, and the availability of objects will increase so that most of what is manufactured could be done through a whole new process. Makes you wonder about creating forms to decorate the home, to eat with or cook with that are designed by some individual, then as a consumer you purchase the rights to print X number of the object, get a file that you load to your 3D printer and print to you color specifications. 

     

    However, that is off subject. Most of you know that I have taught animation, including 3D animation in HS. AT one time, we were actually one of the first to teach it on the East coast. We started with Lightwave and others on the Amiga computers. I later used others, ending up with using Blender, because of budget cuts, and found in the end that the program had most of the tools that others had. The interface was different, but the power to create models and animate was there. I still play with it.  To me, the time spent modelling in a 3D program is extensive, I do it at time to envision some crazy pot ideas, and have made few in the past with traditional methods of wheel and slab. My big question in 3D is if the object being printed could be made in any other traditional ceramic technique? If so, then why take the joy of making it away from yourself?

     

     

    best,

    Pres

     

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that's 2 questions. 

first can  3D printed object also be made in a traditional ceramics technique? 

I think you could reverse that to read could an object made using a traditional ceramic technique be created by 3D printing?

2nd question is one that is my original response to 3D printing of why? Why eliminate the tactile process of creating with clay by creating remotely by machine.

I have seen some very interesting ceramics pieces made with a 3D which could not be made without the printer. They are made by programming very intricate, repetitive movement so exacting that the human hand would find it difficult to duplicate,

They are fascinating to watch print out forms and patterns. 

 

I am not so interested in using the process because I really enjoy the creating part of working with clay.

 

Marcia

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Sorry Marcia, but my QotW was: Have you ever or even considered doing 3D printing?

 

What I was trying to get at in the last bit of my post was exactly as you said, If it can be made by traditional techniques, why do other wise. If it can not be done in any other way, then I would say the 3D printer is the resource or tool that might work. As far as what I know of 3D printing, it takes a software modeling program to make a model that can be printed.

 

 

best,

Pres

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Ah thank you so much for posting this question, looking forward to what people have to say!

 

I would definitely be interested in trying 3D printing. Some shapes and patterns are doable in 3D printing that are definitely not doable by hand or at least very very time consuming so I think that using 3D printing could help explore and push the limits of clay. I feel like having both a manual and 3D practice could bring a very experimental side that might also impact the handmade side.

For example I have seen 3D printed objets playing with the softness of clay (see the work of Alterfact: https://www.alterfact.net/projects2/), which I hadn't seen before (but might probably exist, I am just not aware of it).

 

It reminds me the other day I found the work of a potter, Bae Sejin, I thought he was using a 3D printer but it's all handmade O_O. There are videos of him working on a piece on Instagram, it looks like a painstaking process: http://samiza99.wixsite.com/sejin

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http://medalta.org/ceramic-3d-printing

 

So it's a bit of an older video, but a fair illustration of how 3D printing is indeed a resource or tool that can accomplish something that traditional methods can't, at least not in a time frame I'd consider reasonable. I have seen some much less well executed examples of work made with a 3D printer, but I think this is a good example of using the technology to do something that other forming methods aren't suited to.

 

My mind doesn't think in fractals, and I deal better with hands on rather than abstract, so using a 3d printer isn't something I'd do personally. I also don't really like mould making. I am fascinated, and I do appreciate the fact that something like this is in the world though.

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I would love to have a 3d ceramic printer. I have used my 3d printing for stamps, See my (Gallery pictures) http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/gallery/album/1372-untitled-album/.

 

I know that there are 3D printing companies that can take your 3D rendering and make it in many different mediums like clay, bronze, steel, etc. Here a company I found, but haven't used .

 

https://3d-printing-price.all3dp.com/?_ga=2.230998367.1368018211.1499733331-112697953.1499733331

 

I think by incorporating traditional pottery with 3D can only add to create uniqueness to a artistic piece. If I ever do use a 3D printing service I would make a form that makes a person wonder how I did that. I have ideas, just no money. awwwwwwww :D

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 If I ever do use a 3D printing service I would make a form that makes a person wonder how I did that. I have ideas, just no money. 

Have you ever checked FabLabs, and MakersLab? These are open and shared spaces with lots of fun machines that you can rent to work on your own projects, and most of the time also get lots of advice or shared experiences from the nerdy people who go there all the time. :)

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While I am certainly intrigued by the possibilities a 3D printer creates: I do not see it in my immediate future. Have my hands in so many fires now, just do not have the time to explore it. My professional CAD system does have a 3D mode, so I can generate 3D images of any shape or form I draw in standard formats. Actually laid out the interior of my kiln with shelves, posts, and spacing: then generated that image in 3D: which was my final research before I purchased the kiln.

 

Nerd

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My son bought a 3D printer at a Salvation Army store that didn't work.  He fixed it and wore it out and rebuilt it again, he has made some pretty cool stuff with it, one of the pieces was a duplicate of a tiny wasp nest he had found. It is all very interesting but the pieces didn't have any energy to them.  When I pick up one of my pots I feel the energy running through them.  Wichita State University just opened a science center where anyone can schedule time on a room size 3D printer.  It will be interesting to see what people come up with.   Denice

D.M.Ernst and Pres like this

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At this time I just have the slightest curiosity about 3D printers... I do wonder what do they use for "ink"? <_< 

The concept has been around for decades...Star Trek's "replicators"...

JK

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ran out of likes. Denice. 

 

My son bought a 3D printer at a Salvation Army store that didn't work.  He fixed it and wore it out and rebuilt it again, he has made some pretty cool stuff with it, one of the pieces was a duplicate of a tiny wasp nest he had found. It is all very interesting but the pieces didn't have any energy to them.  When I pick up one of my pots I feel the energy running through them.  Wichita State University just opened a science center where anyone can schedule time on a room size 3D printer.  It will be interesting to see what people come up with.   Denice

this is it! You nailed what has been bothering me about it. 

Marcia

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I am glad you get Marcia, I think half of the people around me think I'm crazy.  I have been making coiled pots with Mimbres designs on them and they have a incredible amount of energy in them.  It must be all of the energy I put into the coiling process, when I touch them and feel the energy and the slightly uneven surfaces I connect with a primal mother earth sensation.  Denice

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Was thinking about this topic yesterday. Has any printed custom patterns on rubber/flexible sheets that could be wrapped around a thrown form, so the pattern lays out perfectly?  Random thought.

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Was thinking about this topic yesterday. Has any printed custom patterns on rubber/flexible sheets that could be wrapped around a thrown form, so the pattern lays out perfectly?  Random thought.

I do a low-tech version of this on occasion with cutouts or stencils onto paper, and then wrap. Kinda like printing, but with the end goal being texture, rather than an image.

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Was thinking about this topic yesterday. Has any printed custom patterns on rubber/flexible sheets that could be wrapped around a thrown form, so the pattern lays out perfectly?  Random thought.

I use a stencil cutter with a CAD program to design stencils for my pieces. I have also been working with cut stencil sheets and impressions into unshaped cylinders. Have thought about doing the same with slip dabbed through stencil on unshaped cylinders. I shape the cylinders after decoration. Just something that has been happening of late.

 

best,

Pres

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I built a 3d printer (that prints plastic) and had planned to try making pottery stamps and decorating wheels with it... just didn't get around to it before I moved and it went into storage.  Another thing I'm looking forward to getting set up in the new place.

 

That's one of the funny things about it... I wanted it as much to make tools as I did to make finished (utilitarian) goods.  Like patterns for sandcasting, stamps or pattern ribs for clay, etc.

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For me one of the issues of avoidance with the idea is they use plastic to make the object (or at least the cheap ones)

Maybe there are metal ones?-In the future it will be the way things are made I'm sure.

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Oh, yes... there are 3d printers that use sintering (a laser melts metal dust together to form each layer), but it's still not suitable for a lot of applications.  And those printers are extremely expensive.  There are very high quality plastic printers (some use sintering with plastic dust), but those are also very expensive.  (Both in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.)

 

We've got a long ways to go before really high quality, reliable printing, plastic or metal, hits the "garage shop" affordability level.  But the hobby level printers can make some useful stuff if you have the right requirements... about a third of my printer is made of parts printed on another plastic printer, including the gears that drive the plastic filament through the hot-end, and the carriage that carries the whole hot-end/drive assembly.

 

It's generally tough stuff, but it has poor shear strength along the print layer axes because the layers can break apart.  I could easily print custom-shaped pottery ribs, because the axis of greatest strength would work in its favor.  It would be like a wooden rib... no flexibility with the kind of plastic I use (PLA).  But if you wanted a lot of different foot or rim profiles, it would work. (But it would cost more than just cutting up a sheet of plastic or wood.)

 

I was also interested in making sprig molds, but I have a feeling the surface would be terrible at releasing without a release agent.  But even there, you could print a positive to use as a master to make a plaster mold.  But getting a good, smooth surface would be a challenge, because each printed layer leaves a ridge.  (If you print in ABS plastic, you can use an acetone fog to soften the edges, which probably made a few of you rightly cringe at the hazard involved.)

 

If anybody is interested in experimenting, I can have it set back up in the next month and we can run some ideas through it and see what we come up with.

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Release is a function of the surface composition and texture.  Also there is a need to provide a channel for air to enter the space between the clay and the mold as the sprig is removed, otherwise the atmospheric pressure will hold the clay in place.  Plaster works because it is porous and pulls water out of the clay causing shrinkage of the clay, but that is not the only process available to the potter - it is just the one most familiar to most potters.  

 

If you are digitally printing the molds, you have options of changing "ink" as well as changing the location where the ink is placed.  Clay does not stick well to Teflon, for instance.  Or you can print micro pores in the surface to pull water out of the clay.    

 

There is 3-d printers in use in Europe printing concrete into small room size containers.  That printer is not an all plastic contraption. 

 

One of the major obstacles to the develop of 3-d printing is understanding the properties of the "ink" requires to be able to be used to construct an object, and how the "ink" is to be "converted" into the final state needed to meet the functional requirements of the finished product.  The 3-d printing process is  multi-discipline technique.  If used to make ceramic art or functional traditional ceramics, a potter will need significantly different skills than those being used to make mugs, bowls, and platters currently on the market.   And, Nerd will have to go back to his "lab" and reformulate the perfect porcelain. :rolleyes: 

 

LT

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That printer is not an all plastic contraption. 

 

 

 

 

If we're talking about experimenting on my printer, it most certainly is an all-plastic contraption :), and primarily designed to print PLA or ABS.  Anything more exotic that that is still going to have to meet the general performance requirements of PLA plastic.  (Which, for those who might wonder, is a biological product (usually made from corn) and is bio-degradable.)

 

 

 

Even if I change the hot-end nozzle for a smaller orifice, I'm still not going to get a resolution fine enough for "micro-pores"... any pores made are going to be large enough to show up in a sprig.  Which is why, from my point of view, it's much simpler to use the printer to produce a master to pull a plaster mold from, which brings the process back into something completely within the well-trodden realm of standard pottery practice.

 

 

 

If you're talking about a printer that can print micro-pores or Teflon, you're talking about something that likely costs in the six-digit range... not a tool you're likely to use to make sprig molds.

 

 

 

I have seen, a few years ago, someone who was already printing porcelain with a 3d printer... the design had been originally engineered to print chocolate.  It worked, but for typical pottery, it's more cost-effective to slip-cast.  Even if you discount the cost of the printer itself, 3d printing is expensive... from designing 3d models that are suitable for printing, to the time it takes to make a print, and often the cost of the medium (PLA filament is not cheap... porcelain is probably one of the cheapest mediums I've seen).  This is why 3d printing has been around for years and doesn't edge out traditional manufacturing... it's great for one-offs and iterations of prototypes, but it's very slow and expensive for mass production of identical goods.

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 It worked, but for typical pottery, it's more cost-effective to slip-cast.  Even if you discount the cost of the printer itself, 3d printing is expensive... from designing 3d models that are suitable for printing, to the time it takes to make a print, and often the cost of the medium (PLA filament is not cheap... porcelain is probably one of the cheapest mediums I've seen).  This is why 3d printing has been around for years and doesn't edge out traditional manufacturing... it's great for one-offs and iterations of prototypes, but it's very slow and expensive for mass production of identical goods.

Yes but some of the pieces I saw made with 3D printing in ceramics would be absolutely impossible to replicate by mold casting, too intricate. I think it is just another medium that allows for other things and can't compete with pre-existing techniques but rather complete them or work together

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Yes but some of the pieces I saw made with 3D printing in ceramics would be absolutely impossible to replicate by mold casting, too intricate. I think it is just another medium that allows for other things and can't compete with pre-existing techniques but rather complete them or work together

 

And that's where 3d printing really shines... in producing work that can't be done with traditional means, or would be very complicated to do so.  Say, an engine part that requires a complicated multi-part mold is no harder for a 3d printer to produce than a straight piece of pipe.  The trick is making a part that actually holds up to use in an engine.

 

The future of 3d printing... when it's cheap, durable, extremely high-resolution and capable of producing replacement parts for your car's engine, or for making a toaster from scratch, from a machine affordable that everyone can have one: when the 3d printer is essentially Star Trek's "Replicator"...  that's when it will get really interesting.

 

A sculpt a piece.  It has some value as art.  I make a mold and slip-cast reproductions of that piece.  These have some value as art, but it's generally agreed that they are worth far less than the original.  What is it worth when you can download a file describing the geometry of my piece off the internet and print it for $1 worth of material/energy/time... and that piece can't be differentiated from the original sculpture, down to reproducing the pores in the finger prints I left on it?

 

I think part of society will always appreciate hand-made goods... to me, the value of hand-made is a connection to the maker.  I think that connection is tenuous at best in a piece replicated by a machine.

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