The picture on the Paragon website looks similar to the S82 kiln my wife has. The top two knobs control the temperature and the bottom one on the kiln sitter sets the timer. For small things we start the firing with the upper knobs at the 1 setting and the lid propped open at the lowest notch for 1 hour. Set the timer for 6 hours for a cone 05 firing. Also plug the lower vent and leave the top vent open. Then after 1 hour close the lid and move both upper knobs to the 6:00 position. After another hour move both upper knobs to the MAX position and put a small mirror close to the upper vent. If there is no moisture coming out then plug the upper vent. Otherwise check every 10 to 15 minutes for moisture and plug the upper vent when there is no moisture on the mirror.
For larger objects the ramp up has to be slower to MAX temperature. You will have to experiment to see what works best for what you are doing.
My wife keeps challenging me to make molds for some things she wants to make,
some of which would be very difficult to do with conventional molds but very easy
to do with a 3D ceramics printer.
Don't forget that you can still use 3D plastic printers to produce tooling for pottery
production (e.g. masters for moulds, stamps, ...). Even multi-piece block molds for
casting complex multi-part molds.
I'm very excited about the opportunities opened up by 3D ceramic printers (e.g. non-
standard shapes, vessels made with a leaf-vein style mesh, organic/fractal features, ...),
and their utility in producing one-offs and prototypes. However I expect that there will be
many more ceramic items made as a result of printed plastic tooling than are made as a
result of ceramic printing. [Not a very risky prediction as the former will often be many-per-3D-print
and the latter necessarily one-per-3D-print. I also suspect that ceramic printing will always
be dearer than plastic printing, if only because of the larger market for the latter driving
Do you feel able to share any of the shapes your wife would like made?
... and look out for building-scale 3D concrete printers.
Mostly artsy craftsy stuff but the problem is that my moldmaking skills are primitive at best. Something that would require a 3-piece mold (like her Christmas tree molds) is way out of scope for me. So I got to thinking about 3D printing - where I could potentially do a lot more than is possible with molds.
Thanks for the great replies folks. My wife keeps challenging me to make molds for some things she wants to make, some of which would be very difficult to do with conventional molds but very easy to do with a 3D ceramics printer.
Doesn't look like we'll be getting one anytime soon but I figured somebody somewhere had to be thinking similarly regarding the technology.
"Printing" with clay is already done, in some regards. My wife works in a dental office, where they make their own crowns, based on scans from the patient's own teeth.
The scans are put into a computer, which guides a mill that cuts the material. The material is then heated in a small kiln with an enamel coating.
My dentist just got something like this (if not the same thing). I didn't at the time make an association with ceramics. But yes it is a computerized system to make crowns. His system came from I believe Germany and is a subtractive system so it's more like a CNC machine for dentists.