Source: 3ders.org written by: Alec
Though 3D printing in plastic is entering homes, garages and workshops throughout the world, ceramic 3D printing is something you rarely see at those levels. And that is exactly why the work of Dutch design duo Yao and Marlieke of Vormvrij 3D has been so groundbreaking.
Earlier this year, they released the very impressive LUTUM® 3D clay printer, a quick machine even capable of manufacturing of making detailed busts. And now they’re back for more. To encourage ceramic 3D printing at home, they have just unveiled a mini version of the LUTUM.
As you may or may not remember, Yao and Marlieke are both graduates from the prestigious Dutch Design Academy in Eindhoven, and have been working with 3D printable ceramic since 2012. Starting out with selling beautiful 3D printed ceramic vases and bottles on Etsy, they have since developed their very own custom ceramic 3D printer.
And since then, things have been going very well for Vormvrij 3D. ‘Since the launch of the LUTUM® 3D clay system in march we have moved places to accommodate demand, and also to set up a very small production unit to build the machines,’ Yao explains to us. But at the same time, they were getting a lot of promising feedback from people who were saying that they were interested in experimenting with the LUTUM 3D printer, but found it’s build volume (650 x 740 x 800 mm) just too big. After all, we only have so much room in our garages. ‘We had lost of requests from people who were interested in experimenting with clay but the printer was just too large. Not just for the price and space it occupies but also the kilns these people own. The felt they would get a machine that would be over-dimensioned for their work and post processing,’ Yao says.
That is exactly the problem they are trying to deal with through the new mini version of the LUTUM 3D printer. ‘It has the same specs as the large ones just the build volume and overall dimension are smaller,’ Yao explains. Instead of 650 x 740 x 800 mm, this machine features a build volume of 45 x 45 x 45 cm, thus easily reducing the amount of space necessary for 3D printing ceramic, while also pushing the prices down a bit. ‘This small one is aimed at the semi-professional hobby ceramists, fablabs and makerspaces without an existing ceramics workshop.’ The kit includes the printer itself, one XL clay tank, a control box, a pressure control system and an extruder. All you need is an air compressor and obviously some clay to start printing, as well as a kiln to complete the process.
What’s more, Vormvrij 3D is also doing its best to increase the applicability of their machine through a new extruder made from 24K gold. ‘[For] if you tend to work with corrosive clay types or food mash. (and for those who just like bling things),’ Yao explains. This means that the LUTUM 3D printer now has more potential than ever! If you’re interested in these excellent machines, go the Vormvrij 3D website here.