Ceramic 3D Printer?

Unfold is experimenting with printing ceramics. They've acquired a RapMan 3D printer kit and "Currently we are working on a toolhead that can extrude clay." This is not something the RapMan was originally designed to do, but what are kits for if not to modify? 
 
The test vase, shown above appears impressive, but it may require some finishing: firing, to solidify the object into a true ceramic, polishing to smooth out the irregular surface and glazing in the traditional ceramic fashion. (click for larger image)
 
If this can be made to work, the possibilities of ceramic objects is pretty wide. For example, as you can see in the sample, the bowl's weight was reduced by having hollow walls with appropriate support structures. This is definitely not how ceramics have been traditionally made. Not being potters, we have no idea how you'd even attempt to do that with your hands and a potter's wheel. 
 
One of the barriers to 3D printing is often the cost of the print media. MCOR addresses this by printing with paper, but we think clay could be added as another inexpensive commonly available print material. 
 
Hopefully their experiments with clay extrusion will be made public allowing other RapMans, RepRaps and MakerBots to print ceramics, too. 
 
Via Unfold 

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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