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Good News!: 3D Printing Is Beginning to Really Influence the Ceramic Arts World, as Shapeways Has Seen

by • March 27, 2016 • No Comments


You may not realize it, but it’s highly most likely that you are surrounded by ceramic materials right now. Everything of bricks, pipes, floors and roof tiles to your tableware can be created of ceramic material: and this extends way beyond the common associations we have with that high school pottery class you were forced to withstand. Defined as an “inorganic nonmetallic, solid material comprised of metal, non-metal and metallic atoms,” the ceramic material has in addition had really a sizeable impact in its own ceramic arts field.

cer2In fact, a national organization, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) undertaking is dedicated to via programs, exhibitions, publications, and conferences to educate individuals of ceramic arts. The new 50th yearly NCECA conference took place in Kansas City of March 16-19, 2016. With a “Makers, Mentors, and Milestones” theme, the conference included the new directions for 3D printed ceramics, and this placed the Shapeways Porcelain Team on display there as well.

Now, for the reason ceramic arts places a sizeable emphasis on hand-crafting techniques historically, the great news for 3D printed ceramics is that individuals seemed really open and interested in learning additional of new ceramic-manufacturing technologies. Ceramic printing techniques on display included FDM mold manufacturing, clay extrusion, powder-based ceramic printing, and Shapeways‘ one-of-a-kind porcelain printing method. All of these techniques were exhibited at the initially-of-its-kind for the conference Clay Fab Lab — that was spearheaded by West Virginia University’s Shoji Satake. This Fab Lab exhibited various ceramic printing processes utilized by five various US universities.


Clay extruded pot with hand-pinched detailing at the top by Bryan Czibesz [Image: Shapeways]

The Shapeways blog ponders what it means for 3D printing and ceramics that the NCECA featured the innovation for the initially time at its national conference:

“The presence of digital fabrication methods at NCECA reflects how swift an overall paradigm shift is in full swing for the ceramicists’ maker community. Whilst innovation can never replace handcreated traditions, it is a new tool that allows for for exploration of one-of-a-kind shapes and thoughts to come to life in this rad medium.”

The perception that innovation is not in opposition to the awe-inspiring centuries-long tradition of hand-crafted ceramics is refreshing. I actually personally have to check myself at times when I realize a in theory quaint industry, like the awe-inspiring hand-crafted pottery one, is being transformed. What I have said of style and jewelry create I am in addition made to say of the ceramic arts. When you see what can be created by 3D printing innovation, such as intricately detailed creates, without the painstaking weeks and months long handwork required, you may agree as well.

Shapeways revealed its porcelain 3D printing material back in November 2014, with the full release in September 2015. The thought that the hand-crafted can coexist with the machine-created is a great one, and I appear forward to seeing all of the awe-inspiring artwork to be gleaned of this marrying of tradition with emerging innovation. Discuss in the Shapeways Porcelain 3D Printing at NCECA forum over at 3DPB.com.


Bryan Czibez and Richard Burkett with their 3D printed ceramic work [Image: Shapeways]