|Monthly Tech-Tip |
This was done on an affordable RepRap printer. The red plastic templates were drawn in Illustrator, extruded in Fusion 360 and sliced and printed using Simplify3D (which took about 30 minutes each). The round wooden block was used to press these cookie-cutters into the clay. The plastic wrap made sticking a non issue (and rounds the corners nicely). The clay is a low fire, buff burning talc body (Plainsman L212). Commercial bottled glazes were applied by brushing (in three coats) after bisque. The tiles were fired at cone 03. This is an old classic design that I discovered when researching Damascus tile. The toughest obstacle was learning how to use Fusion 360. It turns out that cookie cutters are a starter project for many 3D software packages, there are lots of videos on making them.
This is about 4 inches in diameter and 5/8 inch thick. By laying plastic wrap over the clay and then pressing the cookie cutter down onto that the nice rounded contours were created.
Standard 3D printing technology (not printing with clay itself) is very useful to potters and ceramic industry in making objects that assist and enable production.
Tile manufacture is the largest sector of ceramic industry. Engineers overcome the very difficult technical challenges of drying and firing defect-free, flat and durable tile. Potters can do it too.