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2019 Jiggering-Casting Project of Medalta 66 Mug

Beer Bottle Master Mold via 3D Printing
Better Porosity Clay for Brown Sugar Savers
Build a kiln monitoring device
Coffee Mug Slip Casting Mold via 3D Printing
Comparing the Melt Fluidity of 16 Frits
Cookie Cutting clay with 3D printed cutters
Evaluating a clay's suitability for use in pottery
Make a mold for 4-gallon stackable calciners
Make Your Own Pyrometric Cones
Making a high quality ceramic tile
Making a Plaster Table
Making Bricks
Making our own kilns posts using a hand extruder
Making your own sieve shaker for slurries
Medalta Ball Pitcher Slip Casting Mold via 3D Printing
Medalta Jug Master Mold Development
Mother Nature's Porcelain - Plainsman 3B
Nursery plant pot mold via 3D printing
Pie-Crust Mug-Making Method
Plainsman 3D, Mother Nature's Porcelain/Stoneware
Project to Document a Shimpo Jiggering Attachment
Roll, Cut, Pull, Attach Handle-making Method
Slurry Mixing and Dewatering Your Own Clay Body
Testing a New Load of EP Kaolin
Using milk as a glaze

A cereal bowl jigger mold made using 3D printing

Objective: See if it is possible for a potter to create a duplicate of a bowl purchased at Ikea. It is porcelaneous stoneware, not white but very vitreous. It is a simple form with a transparent crystal clear glossy glaze.

At first, I thought my 3D printer was not large enough to make all the parts I needed. But could it produce sufficient precision that pieces could be printed in multiple parts, with flanges, and glued or clamped together? I wanted to know.

As with other projects, this all depends on one's ability to do the 3D drawings. I use Fusion 360, one of the best skills I have ever learned. Here are the steps to create the sketches (I revolved them to create the 3D parts):

I measured the aluminum cuphead carefully and drew its cross-section.

I drew the profile of the jigger mold using outside dimensions to match the inside of the cup head and an inside contour to match the outside of the bowl (with 12% size increase to account for drying and firing shrinkage).

I mirrored the bowl's outside profile upward and offset it to get a mold to print in PLA filament (filling that with plaster creates the outside shape of the bowl). I adjusted the outer contours of the PLA print for a flat bottom and made all sections of the wall less than 45 degrees off vertical, this enables printing the form without supports.

By mirroring the inside contour of the cuphead upward I was able to create a cross section for the rails. For the initial 3D printed parts I revolved these in two stages in two directions. The first revolve was the entire cross section at 90 degrees each way, the second cut the first at 89 degrees each way (thus creating the bottom and edge flanges).

After making a couple of iterations I realized that it was not actually necessary to print a multi-piece rail mold (with flanges). A one-piece one works much better (the diameter is 18cm and my Prusa MK3+ can handle this). It stays perfectly round by virtue of a thicker shoulder section and being printed as one piece (the molds made using the multi-piece method were not precisely round so they rocked slightly in the cup-head). Additionally, there is no need to remove the 3D-printed shell from the mold, in fact, there are multiple advantages to leaving it in place - I just fill it will plaster.

To make the bowls I roll clay 3/8" thick, cut a 19cm diameter disk, press it into the mold and then while turning I work it down into the foot ring and create an inside contour by hand. Then the jigger mold simply finishes the inside surface and rim. It appears it might be practical to make a template that only forms the upper inch or so of the rim, hand finishing the inside would afford the opportunity to add a throwing spiral.

Related Information

3D design is the key to making a bowl jigger mold

3D printing a jigger mold shell

1 The original drawing in Fusion 360 (aluminum cuphead, jigger mold with bowl-outside profile, bowl mold, jigger mold case and jigger template).
2 The original bowl purchased at Ikea alongside the 3D printed shell of its outside contours (12% bigger).
3 The plaster model of the outside shape (created from the shell mold).
4 Printing a pair circular rails (with flanges for clamping).
5 The rail assembly (clamped, glued and soaped) ready for use to pour working mold.
6 The model soaped and glued to an Arborite bat (using sticky clay). The rail assembly glued down.
7 The light-bulb moment of realizing the rails - from #4, #5, #6; are not even need! I now print them as one unit, one for each mold I make.
8 The finished working mold (with amazing PLA printed outer surface).
9 The jigger mold inserted into the cuphead is ready for use.

Bowl jigger mold encased in a PLA 3D print

This is much more durable than a standard plaster jigger mold. And much nicer to handle. And it drops very precisely into the cup head, a perfect fit. This was the unexpected culmination of a project to simply use 3D methods to create a tradition all-plaster mold.

3D-printed jigger template for cereal bowl

3D-printed jigger template for cereal bowl

The jigger mold is shown in front, by projecting its inside contour horizontally outward and then offsetting it by 3mm (and smoothing) I was able to create the jigger template. The template is 1 cm thick with a 30-degree draft along the cutting edge. I mount this to a 1/8" steel plate holder that is attached firmly to the jigger arm. No mount holes are needed, I heat up screws on a propane burner and just push them through the holes in the steel plate into this 3D-printed template, even fine threaded machine screws hold it on very firmly.

Jigger wheel aluminum cuphead (for plates)

The head is lathed from aluminum. It fits on a potter's wheel (adjust the inside diameter to fit the shaft). The plaster mold drops into it this cuphead and stays in place by friction. The only point of contact between the mold and aluminum should be at the top inside corner of the cuphead.

Jigger arm assembly for a Shimpo RK2 pottery wheel

We have mechanical drawings for this (and the cup heads). This is very sturdy and useful. The arm is relatively short compared to industrial jigger wheels and is thus useful for only small shapes. There is an advantage: The template contacts vertical walls at a more perpendicular angle. But the disadvantage is that the trailing edge of the template hits the outside edge of the lip on taller shapes. The pointed bolts hold the arm securely and their tightness enables varying the friction of movement. They have enough length to also position the arm horizontally. We 3D print templates and block masters for making working molds that drop into the cuphead.

Shimpo Jigger attachment drawing

Jigger arm assembly

Made from 1/2" x 3" flat steel, this frame is heavy and very strong and solid. The two larger 3.5" long bolts are custom-made from 5/8in-11 threaded rod, they have a 45-degree cone tip and locking nuts. The small vertical stopper-bolt is made from 3/8" rod. It is 2" long with 1" dia washer welded on top and a locking nut. The small bolt setting determines the bottom point of arm travel. The pivot sockets on the jigger arm are 1" long and made from 1" steel rod, each has the 45-degree recess machined into it. The arm can be moved left or right and its tension set by adjusting the two larger bolts. The weighted collar on the back of the arm employs two pieces of 1" thick flat steel, it is heavy (important for convenience-of-operation). The triangular notch enables the arm to be lifted higher. The weight colar needs some sort of set screw to hold it in place. A number of corners need to be rounded or rubber-padded for safety reasons. If you would like this 3D file in Fusion 360 and STEP formats, it is available in the Files manager in your account.

Inbound Photo Links

Black underglazed bowl
Making your own black underglaze makes sense


Glossary 3D-Printing
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.
Glossary 3D Design
3D Design software has revolutionized traditional ceramic manufacturing, now it is accessible to hobbyists and potters.
Projects Nursery plant pot mold via 3D printing
By Tony Hansen
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