A research into generative tableware and ceramics fabrication. Adri Schokker and Wouter Reckman

Clay 3D Printer

Spatial designer and machine builder Tom Dijkstra develops paste based 3D printers already for quite some time. The first 3D printer he had ever developed for Nou&Herkauw was a paper maché 3D printer for a paper recycle and object design workshop for children. When we were just starting the research for Evolving Objects, Tom was building a heavy duty clay 3D printer commissioned by a product designer from Groningen. The 3D printer was developed and built from scratch. This takes a lot of time and because it is only one copy the material costs are relatively high. Based on this experience, Tom came up with the idea to modify an existing 3D printer into a clay printer. He used his Creality Ender 3 printer for the experiment and developed a new clay printhead for it. Aside the head he assembled clay cartridges that you can fill up with clay. To make sure that the clay is pushed in the printhead the cartridges are connected to an air compressor. The extrusion from the head itself is controlled by a special mechanism in the head. The choice for the printer was for a big part based on the low price of the printer, but technically the technique works on similar printers as well. The combination of the budget priced printer and the clay printhead modification makes it the cheapest solution for clay 3D printing I have seen so far and therefore very accessible. To be able to quickly materialise the coffeecup designs made during the Maker Faire in Eindhoven, we invited Tom to come along to demonstrate his clay 3D printer. Tom plans to release his printhead-kit online soon. Please leave your contact info on this website if you want to know more.