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TomDM

Where Does 3D Printing Fit?

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I have had a long-time interest in 3D printing.  And, it began from my vicarious interest in my daughter's carved ceramic sculpture.  Recently FormLabs released a ceramic resin with which I will be experimenting.   But, my real interest is in the potential of powder-based ceramic 3D printers to be released soon.

Knowing that part of the appeal of working in ceramics is the tactile nature of the medium, I'm wondering if adoption of 3d printing of ceramics will come from outside the current community of ceramics designers or will some from inside the current community also find a place for 3D printing.

I would love to know what you think.

Edited by TomDM

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There are already many people doing this.  Hammerly ceramics is one guy who is probably most popular.  He prints a 3d master and then makes plaster molds to duplicate it in porcelain.  This is going to be the fastest, easiest and most economical way to 3d print ceramics.  

As to where they fit in?  No idea, I don't think they look particularly great or involve a lot of effort, but people certainly buy them!  I'm wondering how local art shows will handle them, since they usually have an agreement that items being sold need to be hand made, an obviously these are made by a computer.  I think a better application for 3d printed ceramics would be in industrial ceramic insulators and such, since it's much more precise.

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2 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

As to where they fit in?  No idea, I don't think they look particularly great or involve a lot of effort, but people certainly buy them!  I'm wondering how local art shows will handle them, since they usually have an agreement that items being sold need to be hand made, an obviously these are made by a computer.  I think a better application for 3d printed ceramics would be in industrial ceramic insulators and such, since it's much more precise.

Thanks!

The art show question is certainly relevant.  :)

As a new user I hesitate to post any links; but, the upcoming 3D printers, using powder, should be able to produce amazingly complex designs with very small features.  So, the results will be quite different from the extrusion clay printers that have been around for a while. 

It seems to me, that for the members of this forum, the ability to use 3D printing as parts of the workflow brings both positive potential and negative consequences.  For instance, things that took my daughter weeks to carve with precision can be done on the computer in minutes.  How might that impact the value of her hand-made work, which took amazing amounts of skill?

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Your daughter's work is also one-of-a-kind, and 3d printed ones are not.  

As far as the ceramic powder printers, it's not really a huge deal because you can print in whatever resin you want and then make a plaster mold from it.  Doing it that way and slip casting you could make hundreds of the same item in the same amount of time as printing a dozen, and it retains the detail.  If you haven't checked out what hammerly is doing, it's pretty impressive 

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I think I checked out the work of the Hammerly Ceramics.    https://www.facebook.com/pg/HammerlyCeramics/posts/

Thanks for the heads up.  His Etsy site is interesting.

This has already been a very valuable discussion.  His seems to be an example of using standard plastic printing and creating molds from the prints.  The real creative process, beyond the 3D design itself, is in the uniqueness of the finish (glaze, etc)  of each individually molded piece.

The replication issue is an interesting one.   One printing in 3D has the choice of making a single object or many.  The question would be which strategy has the greatest value in return over time.  And, they still have the option, like Hammerly, to emphasize uniquely finished parts that might have the same shape; but, not the same outcome.  That is something they have to consider.

Many items that could be 3D printed could never be cast. 

I will be experimenting with a Formlabs printer over the next few weeks and will try to print some designs that could not be cast... but, could be replicated through multiple iterations of printing.

I wonder if many members of the forum already work in some 3D design program?

Edited by TomDM

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There are others who print directly with ceramic. On Instagram check out EarlyAmericanRobotPottery, or search 3dprintedceramics.

I tend to think of printing directly with ceramic as high speed coil building, however it's still slower than most other processes used with clay. For most potters it removes the part of working with clay that drew them to the craft in the first place- working with clay. I appreciate it as a building method, but I have no interest in pursuing it myself. I didn't become a potter so I can work with computers.:D I think they're every bit as hand made as the wood signs cut with a router, or digital photographs/ digital art. You still have to have a creative mind, and a good eye for design, even if the printer is doing the actual building of the piece.

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the only thing i would want from a 3D printer would be a harder version of a rubber stamp.   i would expect much more detail than is available from standard rubber stamps.

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"For most potters it removes the part of working with clay that drew them to the craft in the first place- working with clay. "

And, that is a valid point of view.  I got into 3D printing because of my daughter's work.  But, she has the same feel toward the tactile reasons why she is doing art.

In the other hand, 3D printing offers completely new complex design opportunities not available otherwise.  The important thing for me is the aspect of FIRING.  Of all the materials one can 3D print, ceramics that can be fired offers the closest thing to immortality in a product.  What other material can lay in the ground for thousands and thousands of years and still look so amazing when someone in the future digs it up!  :)

" You still have to have a creative mind, and a good eye for design, even if the printer is doing the actual building of the piece. "

That's my takeaway.  In the end all artistic expression begins in the imagination. 

 

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1 hour ago, oldlady said:

the only thing i would want from a 3D printer would be a harder version of a rubber stamp.   i would expect much more detail than is available from standard rubber stamps.

Actually, I have experimented with that very thing.   There are actually several flexible filament manufacturers which could be used for making stamps.  My favorite is M3D's Tough material.  You need a direct drive extruder to print with flexible material; but, M3D's small Micro+ works very well.   One can also easily create a mold in plastic and cast a stamp using one of the Smooth-On materials.  I've experimented with stamps created using both methods.  But, I am not comfortable declaring that the result would be better than commercial stamps because I have so little experience with stamping.  Most of my explorations are of the "can it be done" variety to come up with projects for our students.

Wow! Just noticed you are from Harpers Ferry.  A lifetime ago (1970's)  I used to create training videos for the Mather Training Center and loved every visit!

Edited by TomDM

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In all my juried shows slip casting is not allowed. I feel this will and should be the case for 3 d printed ceramics in juriued art show.

The 3 d process brings folks into this field who are less  interested in clay and more in the print process. I think as well as  slip wares there is a market-like Etsy  just not juried shows.

I feel strongly about that.

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12 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

In all my juried shows slip casting is not allowed. I feel this will and should be the case for 3 d printed ceramics in juriued art show.

I don'tI agree with that. As long as the artist is creating his/her own original designs and molds, I don't have a problem with slip cast pieces being in a show. Same with 3D printed, as long as the artists is designing his/her own work. It's no different than photography.

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This sounds like the old argument over weather photography is a true art-form. The photographer does not paint or draw the image. They just point and shoot. And yet many art shows these days will feature expensive photographic prints  as original artwork. Today these prints often use expensive printing techniques to produce durable vibrant images using die sublimation, epoxy on metal, or other exotic printing techniques. In most of these, the artist does not not usually even own a printer that produces the finished work, but sends the data to a printing facility to have the finished works made.  Is this art? Are these photographers really artists?

Today, photography is recognized by most people as a legitimate art-form. The composition of an image, choice of equipment, lighting, angles, and even post processing, all contribute to the finished product. Most of us would admit that a professional photographer can usually produce images that are far superior to those of a casual photo enthusiast.  There is clearly skill and artistry involved, even though some aspects of the process are automated.  

3D printing will no doubt eventually find its some nitch in the artistic community. Exactly what that is will depend on how the technology progresses and what customers want .  Right now, even a cheap 3D printer can be useful to a regular ceramic artist to at least produce tools.  Need a custom cutter or trimming tool? You can make one out of wood, plastic, or metal if you have the skills, tools, and materials. But you can also 3D print something with relatively little effort.  Do you want to emboss, or roll a pattern onto your work?  You can buy or make a variety of tools, or you may want to 3D print them.  If you want, you can even share these tools if you wish with other artists at any distance, and with little cost or effort on your part.

But once you cross the line and actually print the finished ceramic work, or print the mold that will cast the ceramic piece, is this still OK?  Have you automated too much of the process? Is that still art? How much different is this really from the folks who paint or glaze slip cast ceramics?

Perhaps it will eventually come down to what customers value and are willing to pay for. The technology will continue to advance. Right now, it is too slow, and expensive to pose any real threat to most ceramic artists. And it lacks much of the character that truly hand crafted products usually poses.  Some of that will change over time, and it is hard to say how far it can go. But another question is how will the artistic community respond to this new technology? Take a look at how photography effected the rest of the artistic community as it developed.

I think you will start to see some artists embrace 3D printing as a new and interesting medium in its own right. But others will perhaps take a new look at what is that is unique about their work, and why it is different from 3D printed products. Before photography, most painting, and drawing, was focused on producing the best representation of what the world looked like. To document people, events, or scenes in the most realistic way possible. Photography can compete with some of that previous use for painting and other artistic representation. But rather than taking the place of traditional artwork, it actually freed up artists to embrace the more creative side of their craft. To develop new techniques of representation that were not necessarily realistic, but impressionistic. Art that conveyed emotions in ways they perhaps had not previously considered. 

So I ask you. If the technology for 3D printing ceramics becomes much cheaper, and faster, what would still make your work different?  Is there a revolution about to take place in ceramics that will be initiated by the self reflection brought on by this new technology?  Is one of you about to become a Picasso by distilling the essence of  what is truly unique in handcrafted ceramics and taking a bold new direction with their art?

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3 hours ago, neilestrick said:

I don'tI agree with that. As long as the artist is creating his/her own original designs and molds, I don't have a problem with slip cast pieces being in a show. Same with 3D printed, as long as the artists is designing his/her own work. It's no different than photography.

I get5 the orginal design aspect. I'm just stating that in most of the shows I do they specifically state No slip cast wares.

Its most likely  a hold over from the golden bunny ashtray age

I think there is a differance having 100 exact same items vs different items.

I've never bought into photography being  like that as I have done enough to know its different .All the photographers I know have a vast variety of images-yes they reprint them bit its not the same.

I will add that orginal mold designs are also a different animal .I think this is from those days when commercial mold work was king and shows drew a line in the sand. Still stands today.

As to Piscasso he farmed out his designs to be mass produced  in ceramics and they have very low value even these days as so many where cranked out by others.

When slip cast one dollar mugs from china put the bite on mug sales in the 80s I thought in time this will pass and folks who like one of a kind items will again return to buying value based one offs. This happened and I'm sure the 3D thing will be somewhat like that again.It will never replace one offs. Now folks realize the slip cast china mugs are crap and bottom ,line cost is only one small component of the whole picture . People like handling handmade items -This will never go away.

We will all never agree on this as its a Ford/ Chevy topic

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Every 3D printing that is capable of producing in ceramics ends up with greenware as the output at one stage or another.  It's what happens next that determines the uniqueness and/or value of the end result.  Perhaps those embracing 3D printing will focus on the unique design capabilities of 3D design, making shapes impossible to cast or natural random drooping of unsupported elements.

" A wise 3D-printer of ceramic ware will introduce random variations in her design code;  every mug made on the printer will be unique!   "

This is certainly an option.  And, very easy to accomplish. 

"People like handling handmade items -This will never go away.   We will all never agree on this as its a Ford/ Chevy topic "

I don't even think we HAVE to agree or embrace it.  That's the beauty of creativity and craft.  It is the INDIVIDUAL expression that matters.   In some ways, if one looks at 3D in totality, it simply widens the creative opportunities like incorporating 3D scans of people and cherished objects into the design.  But, it will never replace the quality that hands bring to a piece. It will simply have a different charm.

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4 hours ago, NoArtist said:

So I ask you. If the technology for 3D printing ceramics becomes much cheaper, and faster, what would still make your work different?  Is there a revolution about to take place in ceramics that will be initiated by the self reflection brought on by this new technology?  Is one of you about to become a Picasso by distilling the essence of  what is truly unique in handcrafted ceramics and taking a bold new direction with their art?

This is EXACTLY why I started this thread.  I wanted to hear questions like this one.

Here are links that those wishing to explore this topic might find interesting.  

The first is to the web site for the 3D artist known as Dizingof.  https://www.3dizingof.com/product-category/math-art/

The second is to the gallery of objects that Kwambio has printed from various artists and designers which gives us some idea of how some artists are already taking advantage of 3D. 

https://www.instagram.com/kwambio/

Now, all of these items are glazed in a single color as the printers are not yet released.   The pipes are VERY cool.  But, do not really require a 3D printer to create.

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5 hours ago, Mark C. said:

The 3 d process brings folks into this field who are less  interested in clay and more in the print process. I think as well as  slip wares there is a market-like Etsy  just not juried shows.

I think you are right on both fronts.  Since I do not consider myself an artist, I think I fall into the category you describe.  In fact, when I find threads regarding the Formlabs ceramic material the most asked question is, "What's a good kiln?"   They have little or no experience in clay at all.

Traditional clay artists will need help with 3D design and 3D design artists will need help with the basics of working in clay.  I would hope I can be of help to both groups of people and a catalyst for expanding the creative process for everyone.

Edited by TomDM

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15 minutes ago, TomDM said:

This is EXACTLY why I started this thread.  I wanted to hear questions like this one.

Here are links that those wishing to explore this topic might find interesting.  

The first is to the web site for the 3D artist known as Dizingof.  https://www.3dizingof.com/product-category/math-art/

The second is to the gallery of objects that Kwambio has printed from various artists and designers which gives us some idea of how some artists are already taking advantage of 3D. 

https://www.instagram.com/kwambio/

Now, all of these items are glazed in a single color as the printers are not yet released.   The pipes are VERY cool.  But, do not really require a 3D printer to create.

Are the dizingof links designs you can purchase for you to print?  If so that's akin to buying commercial molds for slipcasting, right?  I wouldn't consider it art or even craft at that point as there's no creative force, it's purely manufacturing. 

The Instagram link I don't see anything that would be difficult to make without a printer, the person is emulating popular artists.  That presents a new worry, which is duplication of original works.  I'm assuming a physical object can be purchased, scanned and then printed.  That's a little scary.

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14 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

Are the dizingof links designs you can purchase for you to print?  If so that's akin to buying commercial molds for slipcasting, right?  I wouldn't consider it art or even craft at that point as there's no creative force, it's purely manufacturing. 

The Instagram link I don't see anything that would be difficult to make without a printer, the person is emulating popular artists.  That presents a new worry, which is duplication of original works.  I'm assuming a physical object can be purchased, scanned and then printed.  That's a little scary.

Both comments are interesting observations.   Thinking about it, printing a Dizingof design WOULD be more like manufacturing.  That is a VERY astute observation!

The instagram link represented the works of many artists using Kwambio's print-on-demand service.  But, you are right.  It IS possible to scan just about any object and reprint it.  While it's not a huge problem today in the ceramics world, I suppose it is something we have to well aware of in the future.  But, there are ways to thwart a 3D scanner or photogrammetry software.  For instance, some of my daughter's ceramic work is next to impossible to duplicate from a 3D capture due to the open areas.

 

Amplexus.jpg

Edited by TomDM

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Couldn't you blow a blue balloon inside and remove it with software (just for scanning)?

I do 3d scanning at work sometimes and there are a few tricks we use.  

And ripping off original designs is pretty common in pottery, but not exact copies and it still takes the work of figuring out how it was done and then putting in time to duplicate, I feel like with 3d printers you can skip those steps and just produce.  An interesting thing to imagine for sure, I could see it leading to a few cool designs that pop up at art fairs and such and end up being kicked out just like old slipcast stuff.  When people show up to an art fair they want to see something different at each booth.  Just like anything, a few bad apples out to make a quick buck can ruin it for everyone.  Will be interesting to see how it plays out, but I'm guessing with the ease of buying designs instead of creating them, and the falling cost of printers, that we might see the stuff pretty soon!

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1 hour ago, liambesaw said:

Couldn't you blow a blue balloon inside and remove it with software (just for scanning)? 

Only at the risk of death should I crack the piece!  I am DEFINITELY a coward!!  :ph34r:

Personalization is probably the greatest appeal for 3D printed ceramics for consumers.   Not everything has to be art to have personal value.  The questions regarding art shows is an interesting one.  Those creating handmade jewelry have to contend with borderline products in the next booth all the time and I know that is very painful to those passionate about their work.

Let me throw one more thing into the mix.  Ceramics is unlike just about every other medium in its permanency.  It is not uncommon for the most common ceramic items to survive for thousands of years.  That alone adds some value.  I was watching a program about a mass grave found that held the bones of more than a thousand people.  There were cloth fragments, strands of gold and some jewelry.  But, absolutely nothing was found that could be used to identify a single person.   The value at the time it was created might have been insignificant; but, a single small piece of personalized ceramics on just one of the people would be a major find of tremendous value now.

Edited by TomDM

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(The Instagram link I don't see anything that would be difficult to make without a printer, the person is emulating popular artists.  That presents a new worry, which is duplication of original works.  I'm assuming a physical object can be purchased, scanned and then printed.  That's a little scary.)

More than a little scary a whole lot more

OH no a whole NEW can of worms-reproducing  others art or buying commercial dizingof designs you can purchase for you to print-another can of worms.

I'm sticking to my orginal thought about this being a slippery slope for art shows-really a juring nightmare .

I think fantastic thinks can be made with this technology but as with many things it will be complex to see who is the oringinal maker.

How would one prove its there design for a aet show jury???You cannot take ones word anymore if you have ever juried a show and see the buy and sell and the folks saying they make the stuff.

The one thging is maybe catalytic converters can drop in price in cars-now thats a great use.I have no use for ceramic shoes yet.

 

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10 hours ago, Mark C. said:

OH no a whole NEW can of worms-reproducing  others art or buying commercial dizingof designs you can purchase for you to print-another can of worms.

I'm sticking to my orginal thought about this being a slippery slope for art shows-really a juring nightmare .

Perhaps that is why 3D printing has been called a "disruptive technology."   Perhaps there is no place for 3D prints in juried shows at all.  That would seem reasonable as long as those submitting works are honest.  

But, does a work have to qualify for a juried show to have income value for an artist or designer?   Isn't there a place for production work that permits an artist to continue making jury level objects by providing income at a production level?  

By the way, Dizingof is quite ready to sue those who rip off his designs and use them without permission.  He did that with 3D Systems and some other big 3D printing companies that showed prints of his work at conventions.  On the other hand, he does sell commercial licenses to print his work with attribution. 

I think the word "manufacturing" is a critical and valuable observation.

Edited by TomDM

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On 5/14/2019 at 4:38 PM, TomDM said:
On 5/14/2019 at 3:48 PM, oldlady said:

the only thing i would want from a 3D printer would be a harder version of a rubber stamp.   i would expect much more detail than is available from standard rubber stamps.

Actually, I have experimented with that very thing.     But, I am not comfortable declaring that the result would be better than commercial stamps because I have so little experience with stamping.  Most of my explorations are of the "can it be done" variety to come up with projects for our students.

I agree with @oldlady.  Most of the commercial, (even custom-made) rubber stamps are too shallow for clay.  They are designed for putting ink onto paper, not incising a line into clay.  

So, maybe there is a need.........

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On 5/17/2019 at 1:12 PM, Chilly said:

I agree with @oldlady.  Most of the commercial, (even custom-made) rubber stamps are too shallow for clay.  They are designed for putting ink onto paper, not incising a line into clay.  

So, maybe there is a need.........

This is interesting to me.  Are we talking about transferring COLOR to clay or being able to cut or form a shape into the clay?   If adding color imprints,  at what step might this best be done?

The answers could guide our upcoming advanced 3D immersion class exploration.  We like to give the students real-world lab exploration projects.   And, this sounds interesting.  Smooth-on has a variety of materials for creating molds and/or stamps,  I've not nee happy with creating stamps for printing on paper; but, our cadets might be fascinated with finding the best material for stamping color on ceramics surfaces.  Cool!

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