|Monthly Tech-Tip |
You may already know that I am very excited about the potential of 3D printing for creating aids to making pottery. I glue four of these together to create a cookie cutter for producing slab-built mugs. For different sizes of mugs I need cutters with different geometries. This is quarter-cutter and it has been drawn "parametrically" using Fusion 360. That means that certain aspects of its geometry (two lengths and one angle) can be adjusted by simply changing the parameters (in the Parameters dialog). The drawing then adjusts automatically. It is magic! Other aspects are fixed (e.g. the right-angle, the pucker-preventing hole cutouts, the height, and thickness). Parametric design is revolutionary, it fits my try-it-adjust-it-try-it-again way of working. And, I can label these printed quarters according to the size, in this case 45-25-108.
This is made from 100% of a natural clay (3B) from the Whitemud formation in Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan. To make this body, which I call MNP, I slake and slurry up the raw clay lumps, sieve it to 200 mesh and then dewater on a plaster table. I rolled the plastic clay into a thin layer, cut it into a cross-shape using a 3D printed cookie-cutter, drape-molded it over a plaster form and then slip-joined the seams. It fires very dense and strong (to zero porosity like glass!). It holds together well and joins well with its own slip. Although not super plastic, it is smooth and fine-grained like a commercial porcelain body. I add 1-2% bentonite to make it more plastic when needed. It has the ability to be rolled extremely thin and yet does not warp in the firing! This mug has a weight-to-volume ratio of 2.08 (the weight of water it will hold compared to its own weight).
Cookie Cutting clay with 3D printed cutters
We are finding more and more applications for this simple process of cookie-cutting shapes in ceramics. You won't believe whats possible and how easy it is to get started.
Pie-Crust Mug-Making Method
Tony Hansen's project to make light, strong and functional slab-built mugs using tools and templates made possible by 3D design and 3D printing.
3D Design software has revolutionized traditional ceramic manufacturing, now it is accessible to hobbyists and potters.