The biggest clay pieces ever 3D printed in the world

The biggest clay pieces ever 3D printed in the world

Wasp Project was born in 2012 with the purpose of printing houses and it determinates our daily choiches, expecially about materials. That’s the reason we work with ceramics, clays and fluid-dense materials. There is no research in this field, particularly in open sources. We faced with special attention extrusion and change of state problems and developed the first commercial extruders for clays and fluid-dense materials. That’s the reason of our delight when Argillà, national ceramic art show, invited us.

Organizers offered us the chance of working beside Jonathan Keep, an English artist who programs 3D printers starting from the sounds of nature and the numeric code which is hidden in each natural element. His innovative and sensitive approach to an ancient art like pottery endeared us.

Before our meeting we had a phonecall with Keep in which we decided to realize the biggest pieces we were able to. Live sperimentation is the typical Wasp approach, but we didn’t know what we would have done.

The several advices and contributes of the senior potters who were there were very usefull to achieve our goal. One of those advices was about Chamot, a kind of clay that contains a fired chopped clay inside. The extrusion of Chamot has allowed us to print some pieces which were 2mm thick and 70 cm tall. The biggest 3D printed clay pieces in the world.

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.stl by Jonathan Keep, Faenza’s square noises which was full of people have been transformated in an object shape

Jonathan Keep enthusiasm was amazing for us, he never had the chance of working with a so high precision and so vast sizes, and expeccially he never printed clay so fast. By using Deltas (20X40, 40X60 and Big Delta) Keep understood that a real mass-producuction is possible in this way.

We were impressed by Keep attention and ability, he was very concentrated and creative and despite lenguage difficulties Massimo and Jonathan worked together in those days with a common view and wholeartedly.

At the fair we had the cance to meet real pottery professionals who had been working for decades and who know thousands of clays. We also faced the opinion of people about the presence of a 3D printer in an handicraft fair: some of them red it like the end of handicraft but almost all the pottery masters looked at our printers like an opening to new creative prospectives and new expressive ways.

One of the most interesting meetings was the one with Ivo Sassi, who started his artistic work in Faenza with huge teachers in the early 50’s. The craftsman was amazed of Delta’s technology becouse of its capability of solving th typical clay problems, just like the risks of collapse, braking or burst during the burning.

“It’s a very armonic process, from the artistic point of view”, despite he is an eighty-years-old man Sassi immediatly undestood the potential of 3D printers.

From Delta technology , Keep poetic and artistic figure and Romagna’s pottery tradition the pieces that you can see in the pictures.

Here you have also the link to Artribune’s article about our experience at Argillà.