3D Clay Printer

This is a printer based on the Delta style of printer, built using Jonathan Keep’s open source ‘self build’ plans and instructions, see link below. The main reason for building this printer to save time in the prototype stage of the work. The majority of tooling and prototyping within the practice uses FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printing in PLA which is then used for moulds in either silicone or plaster, time would be saved printing directly into ceramic.

The major problem with this process is regular trouble shooting, the same as most FDM printers. Unfortunately when using an organic material such as clay there are a variety of variables to consider, primarily the consistency of the material. Too soft and the piece will not support it’s self, too firm and the clay will simply not extrude, other variables could include room temperature, the material contracting whilst printing, the layers not bonding, etc.

I think the advantages to using this tool is large amount of spontaneity involved when printing, which can sometimes lack presence in other 3D print mediums. Work by Olivier van Herpt explores to possibilities of using quite an exact process combined with a material that can often struggle with precision as well as experimenting with the use of Arduinos Computing Platform.

http://www.keep-art.co.uk/Self_build.html