Ceramic Art and 3D printing
The collaboration between WASP and artist Francesco Pacelli
to explore the potentialities of ceramics 3D printing
The 3D printing of clay or other fluid materials is nowadays a big topic of research in additive manufacturing world. Polymers and plastics are easier to 3D print because they set at room temperature after heating so you don’t have too many problems due to collapses or overhangs. When you’re layering instead through LDM (Liquid Deposition Modeling) process wet materials such as clays, there are some limitations due to geometries, collapses, drying, shrinkage, so the material extruded assumes a key role for obtaining acceptable final results.
Focusing on this stimulating research direction, during last months a collaboration between Wasproject and artist Francesco Pacelli started in order to deepen the knowledge about LDM process, widening the number of potential extrudable ceramics materials, setting the correct mixtures and printing parameters to obtain functional 3D printed ceramic pieces.
During last months, Wasp designed a smart LDM extruder based on a compressed air tank which feeds an endless screw in order to selectively deposit clay through a stepper motor. The mechanics of deltawasp machines is perfect for clay deposition because you don’t have a moving bed, so the print remains still while the extruder is moving layer by layer, avoiding dangerous shakes that could compromise the stability of the final printed part.
The extruder works well, but there was still a big work to do related to materials and shapes achievable through LDM process.
Francesco Pacelli / Metal mangrove / clay 3dprint /ceramics.
Francesco Pacelli / Pyromania /clay 3dprint /ceramics.
Francesco Pacelli / Robotic woman nursing a baby /clay 3dprint /ceramics.
Francesco Pacelli / Chaotic Numerical Control /clay 3dprint /ceramics.
After graduation in Design&Engineering in 2013, Francesco Pacelli was an academic researcher for two years at +LAB, the 3D printing lab led by Marinella Levi at the Chemical and Material Engineering department of Politecnico di Milano, where he became familiar with LDM process and with the potential extrudable materials. Since october 2015 a collaboration between Wasp and Francesco started to improve the technology, showing its innovative potentialities in many fields. Francesco’s work is mainly focused on arts (www.francescopacelli.com), but the potential applications of these machines and LDM process are endless, from design to engineering, from fashion to biomedicals.
So we’re very excited about the start of the collaboration between Wasp and Francesco and the opening of this new laboratory, a special place exclusively dedicated to LDM technology for ceramics 3D printing. In next weeks we will share updates about the experiments, the results achieved and the starting interactions with an important and historical place for ceramics such as Faenza and its ceramists, to establish a continuity between the knowledge of the past and the future of this contemporary digital technique.