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!
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.