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With the goal of, one day, 3D printing sustainable homes for those in require, WASP has positioned themselves as pioneers in the system of ceramic 3D printing. And, yet their Big Delta 3D printing device can be the major tool for making these homes, the Italian company has in addition made smaller in size clay extruders on the market for computer desktop 3D printing device owners. To demonstrate the future and limitations of what they call LDM (Liquid Deposition Modeling), WASP teamed up with artist Francesco Pacelli.

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Pacelli has become acquainted with LDM through his work as an academic researcher at Politecnico di Milano’s 3D printing lab, LAB+. Due to the use of wet materials, LDM is limited in terms of geometries and may collapse, dry, and shrink during or after the printing system. For that reason, the material may be key to the innovation and Pacelli has begun working with WASP to both widen the types of ceramics that can be printed, as well as determining the proper mixture and printing parameters for LDM.

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On his site, you will find a number of 3D printed objects made with this system. One significant component to the innovation’s good results is a smart LDM extruder, created by WASP, that uses a compressed air tank to feed the material to an endless screw, that maintains strict control over the flow system. But Pacelli outlines the specific parameters necessary to achieving a good resultsful print, as well as the settings for a good resultsful end product.

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For instance, in the printing of a Limoges porcelain sculpture, the artist explains that the biscuit should be fired at 980°C and the glazed object fired at 1250°C. In another experiment, he recommends the use of plastic bags to cover extruded portions, in order to maintain humidity around maiolica clay and prevent cracking or delamination.

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This is just the beginning for the partnership between Pacelli and WASP, as the artist can go on to research the proper system for LDM. And, while the artist uses WASP’s own LDM extruder, much of what he explores can surely be applicable to other viscous extrusion setups, as well. But Pacelli has begun by demonstrating the use of LDM in creating sculptures, WASP acknowledges the future of liquid 3D printing for a number of applications in engineering, style, and the biomedical field. The partners promise significant updates in the next weeks, which include collaborations with ceramists in Faenza, an Italian city known for its ceramics.

Michael Molitch-Hou

About The Author

Michael is Editor-In Chief of 3D Printing Industry and the founder of The Reality™ Institute, a service institute dedicated to determining what’s real and what’s not so that you don’t have to. He is a graduate of the MFA Critical Studies & Writing Program at CalArts, and a firm advocate of world peace. Michael already resides in San Pedro with his magical wife, Danielle.