Last week we shared Jonathan Keep’s ceramic printing delta printer tutorial — here’s Dutch artist Olivier van Herpt who has his own “spin” on 3D printing potters wheel.
For the last two years Dutch artist Olivier van Herpt has been attempting to overhaul the elegant and iconic potter’s wheel that has served artists continuously from the time of the Greeks to Ghost.
The result is a five-foot-tall, delta-style 3-D printer made from water-cut steel that creates complex ceramic pots with a synthetic human touch. This artistic automaton takes Play-Doh extrusions to their logical conclusion, but does not try to eliminate the trademark quirks of handicrafts.
Any 3-D printers that deposits material in layers leaves a trace of its process: The don’t allow you to create monolithically smooth pieces in one go. Van Herpt wanted to emphasize that fact, rather than hide it. So he has designed his software to accentuate these layers as purposeful textures reminiscent of basket weaves and lace. What is typically seen as a manufacturing defect becomes a decorative flourish.
Van Herpt has spent thousands of hours tweaking hardware and debugging code to achieve these results, but blending the perfect clay was particularly challenging. Diluting clay with water reduces the amount of force required to push it through an extruder, but makes larger objects prone to collapsing under their own weight. Van Herpt’s design leverages industrial-strength motors to deposit a thicker paste and enables the fabrication of vessels over three feet tall that can be printed in approximately two hours, complete with fine lacy detail.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
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