Digital Ceramics!

Zack Jacobson-Weaver is the Materials Fabrication Studio Coordinator at A&D.

We've recently been experimenting with how to combine our RP and SRP technologies with ceramics.  What's the draw? For starters, the amazing material properties of ceramics combined with freeform and rapid fabrication tech has potential too grand and various to innumerate.  How about a custom suit of fireproof dragon scales?  Rock!  Here's some of what we're up to now...

These lovely nugs were printed with the help of Shawn at the UM 3D Lab, right across the street from A&D.  This is a mixture of terra cotta, PVA and sugar; a recipe we got through a virtual collaboration with ME researchers at U-Dub, the University of Washington, Seattle. You can read about their work and get the recipe for yourself here:  

The pieces were printed in a Zcorp 3D printer with Zb60 binder.  The future? Firing tests this spring break: tank tops and Mojitos in the kiln room, anyone?

We're gonna need a bigger kiln!  This lovely catch was made by taking a 3D scan of a fish, again credit to 3dLab.  The .stl file was then prepared for CNC milling on A&D's Roland MDX-540 "desktop" wizzard and RhinoCam software, a plug-in for the ubiquitous CAD software.  

This piece is cut into molding plaster and is half of a slip cast mold.  We didn't think it was a really big deal until American Craft Maganzine wrote an article talking about the "new craft".  See page 4 of this article for some insight on the role of these hot technologies in the future of ceramics.

For an amazing example of the potential, check out artist Geoffrey Mann's "Crossfire" series.  The teapot and flatware here is made by slip cast from digitally designed molds.  This is awesome!




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