3D printing has come a long way in a very short time, with a massive surge into the mainstream. Hardware and software are becoming available to meet nearly every maker’s and manufacturer’s need, and the options for innovating seem to be endless as growing competition in the marketplace means accessibility, expanding features, and affordability. This definitely applies to the realm of materials too, where it’s no longer a matter of users being restricted to 3D printing with just ABS or PLA. Whereas once the conversation may have been about a gaming figurine and what type of plastic it was made with, today it is much more complex—whether you are an artist making sculptures for your next installation, or an entrepreneur delving into a more specialized realm.
Today, many have the luxury of explaining how their pieces were fabricated using carbon, titanium, wood, sandstone, wax, and the list goes on. But it’s not every day you hear about pieces 3D printed in porcelain. With its multi-faceted uses harkening back to the beginning of pottery making and the use of fired clay as early as 24,000 BC, porcelain brings to mind classic elegance. Tethon 3D, headquartered in Omaha, wants to translate that now to the resin 3D printer—and they’ve also just launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes to raise $5K by March 2.
Meant for SLA/DLP 3D printing, their new material, Porcelite Ceramic Resin, allows those using 3D printers with a UV light source to have the option to print in a true porcelain ceramic material. The material allows users to enjoy high-resolution details in their 3D prints. It also offers:
- Electrical insulation
- Heat tolerance
- Nonmagnetic qualities
- Oxidation resistance
- Superior durability
“We developed Porcelite to provide a ceramic material for the growing market of UV light source desktop 3D printers,” says Karen Linder, President and CEO of Tethon 3D. “Porcelite is a photo-cured resin material that fabricates a solid ceramic composite straight from the 3D printer. If desired, it can be fired in a kiln, resulting in a 100% porcelain object suitable for glazing or other traditional ceramic finishes.”
“In addition to its technical qualities, Porcelite produces beautiful pieces that are a pleasure to view and hold,” adds Linder.
Meant for those 3D printing on any level, once the user has designed and 3D printed their model using Porcelite, it’s ready to go directly into the kiln—and can be glazed and finished. Because of the detail it affords, this new material is suitable for a wide range of items, from industrial components to jewelry.
Those wishing to back their Kickstarter campaign will find a delightful list of rewards. At the $20 mark, you receive a pretty cool Tethon tee. Beyond that, at the $30-$50 mark, backers can look forward to receiving their choice of .stl files for items like the Tethon buffalo logo, a twisted woven cube, a pendant created by 3D artist Max Kaeter—or all three in one package. And for an investment of $200, backers receive one liter of porcelain resin.
What’s even more interesting about this campaign though is the range of seminars and workshops Tethon offers to those backing their campaign. If you pledge $100, you have access to a one hour Skype tutorial offering tips on 3D modeling, 3D scanning, SLA/DLP 3D printing, or ceramic 3D printing topics. For $500, a full-day workshop is provided at the Tethon Studios in Omaha. There, they offer tutorials or just an opportunity to hang at their headquarters. For $1500, your whole group can come for a workshop and stay the night in their awesome guest house, with meals provided.
With the funds from the Kickstarter campaign, the team plans to focus on manufacturing, bottling, packaging and distributing the new Porcelite material.
Tethon 3D manufactures Tethonite ceramic powder, binder and other supplies for 3D printing. The company also provides service in 3D modeling, scanning and ceramic 3D printing, as well as 3D printing educational workshops and a residency program. Additionally, the company is active in materials development in ceramics and other composites for use in SLA/DLP 3D printing, and olds intellectual property in ceramic materials and 3D printing hardware. Their name Tethon actually translates to ‘white buffalo,’ a nod to the Omaha Indians of Nebraska. Is this a resin you are interested in backing? Discuss in the Porcelite 3D Printing Resin forum over at 3DPB.com.