I had my first Porcelain ceramic prints back from being fired a few weeks back, they turned out well considering these were my very first prints using the universal paste extruder. And I didn't really know what I was doing with Porcelain clay.
They have been both first and second fired, so are now very strong and hard, and a little smaller than when first printed.
All the parts were printed with a 0.6mm nozzle, I now have 0.4 and 0.2mm nozzles working well, so much smaller and finer details should well be possible.
I'm also going to try to calculate how much they shrink for a given infill and water content next time around.
The only casualties were the Frogs, two were damaged in transit to the first firing so one didn't get fired, the other one was first fired and some of the feet fell off... it was second fired along with the rest and didn't suffer any further damage.
Even this one above was squashed on his head before firing, you can see his squashed eye :( so I'm not exactly sure if his feet were damaged before getting to the kiln. So I'm going to try more frogs next time.
I have a very friendly potter now with her own kiln close by, so I can get things first fired very easily, then the local college can provide the glazing and second firing process, so it's going to be lots of fun experimenting with this aspect of 3D printing.
I'm also looking into printing with Paper-clay, many thanks to everyone that has pointed me in that direction, looks very interesting indeed. I'm still reading about it and have some more people to contact, so I'll try to do another update on that when I have done some printing with it.
I also ordered some Precious metal clay (copper) but have not yet had a chance to test it out, should work well, but has some special requirements to fire copper clay, so I'm still working on that. If it does I may even order some silver-clay (really expensive, but very nice for jewellery), that looks quite amazing when fired, again thanks for pointing me towards that.
Thanks again for all the great comments and feedback from my universal paste extruder, it's great to know people like it and are using it to make awesome things.
Other news and updates -
I'm going to attempt the 30 Days of creativity event in June -
My take on it will be to attempt to improve something in the 3D printing community every day for the whole of June - gulp! I can think of about 6 ideas at the moment, so any inspiration you can give me is most appreciated!
I'll try to upload things I create to Thingiverse, but I may not have very much time to do more on them or with them until the end of June.
Any days when I just run out of time I may just create something using my favourite tool (3D printer), but I'll attempt to make it a little different from the norm.
Follow @createstuff on twitter and use the
They have a handy calender for planning the month if anyone else want to give it a go -
Take the printing challenge -
Talking of challenges, RepRapBCN on the Reprap forum has started a weekly printing competition, take a look and get involved, we can all learn many things from each other doing this, it looks like the first challenge will be the very nice Sapphos Head by LukeChilson - take a look here for the model and competition rules good luck and do have a go.
Printers, Printers everywhere...
I'm still amazed how many new printers are being released every month, we must have had at least 8 new campaigns launched recently all with different takes on the DIY 3D printer, great stuff.
I'm watching quite a few with interest. One clever bit of innovation I'm very impressed with and want to experiment with myself is fitted on the Tantillus - Sublime is using very strong (Spectra braid) fishing line instead of belts, it seems to be doing a very good job and could be a great DIY way to remove expensive belts and pulleys from some 3D printers. I'm going to give fishing line a try on MendelMax at some point soon and see how well it works for a heavier X carriage.
I want to say a big thank you to Faberdashery, not only do they keep on making up great new colours for all of us to print with, they took time to show me around their great new studio and did an Interview with me recently, you can read it here. thanks guys, you're awesome.
Thanks for reading, and that's all for now, see you in a very busy June.