AMS Spring 2023

Dutch Company VormVrij 3D Uses Clay to 3D Print Huge Ceramic Pieces

Inkbit

Share this Article

We’ve seen a lot of material innovations in 3D printing lately, from better plastics to wood to metals; the latest to pop out at us is clay.

Dutch company VormVrij 3D has emerged, the brainchild of designers Marlieke Wijnakker and Yao van den Heerik. The pair, both graduates from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, have a longstanding interest in seemingly unrelated pursuits: design, art, culture, travel, West African NGOs (they ran one to benefit women and children), and sustainability. After moving back to the Netherlands, the emergence of VormVrij 3D seemed a natural next step, fusing their interests in art and sustainable functionality.vormvrij

The VormVrij 3D printer was developed to print in clay to forestall further use of plastics and to reinvigorate the use of natural materials whose use goes back to the earliest human times.

“We now produce with an immediately recyclable and locally obtained natural material,” said Wijnakker and van den Heerik. “We print without loss. And our final products are durable. They can be used by our great grand children. If left to the elements they remain functional for 5000 years without any harm to our natural environment.”

The emphasis at VormVrij 3D isn’t just in the present, technology-wise; the use of clay recalls more sustainable times of the past, and keeps the focus as well on the future, as ceramic pieces can last for millennia. Combining the materials of yesterday with the technology of today will, the VormVrij 3D team hope, “reshape the age of home ceramics.”

vormvrij 3DThe VormVrij 3D printer can print objects to pretty impressive dimensions: 33.4 inches tall with a base of 23 x 31 inches. The base, because it is intended for use with clay (which is pretty heavy compared to the materials we’re used to seeing in 3D printers), is heavy to allow for the clay’s weight and keep the printed pieces from coming out lopsided due to an unstable printer. Powered by an Arduino with Ramps 1.4 shield, using three 2A stepper motors and an air-powered print head, clay objects can be 3D printed in only about 15 minutes. That’s significantly faster than a lot of existing 3D printers, though exact timing depends on the size of the print and the wetness of the clay being used. vormvrij-3d-ceramic-3d-printer-14

Some of the objects already printed include basic, familiar pottery shapes: jugs, vases, baskets, and the like. Others modernize the approach, like espresso sets, and others call back other sculpting techniques, such as bust sculptures. VormVrij 3D offers some of their creations for sale via their Etsy shop, and they also run a 3D Hub. More of their designs and techniques can also be seen on the company’s Facebook page. You can also check out a presentation, led by “Lucy,” from VormVrij 3D regarding the history of 3D printing and clay’s place in it on their website. I have to say, it was pretty educational — and entertainingly put together!

vormvrij-3d-ceramic-3d-printer-5

What do you think of 3D printing with clay? Will it catch on? Would you want to 3D print your own clay pieces to use around the house? Let us know in the VormVrij 3D Printed Clay forum. Check out the video below of a 3D printing test from VormVrij 3D:

Share this Article


Recent News

Rail Giant Alstom Turns to Nexa3D’s NXE 400Pro to 3D Print Replacement Footrests

3D Printing Archipelago: Islands of In-company 3D Printing Bureaus



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Archipelago: Further Segmentation of the 3D Printing Industry

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article spotting a future trend, first noticed by Autodesk´s Alexander Oster, towards a commoditization of the powder bed fusion portion of the additive...

Design for Disruption: 3D Printing Design for Installation

With 3D printing we have the ability to redesign existing parts. We can do this to get them to work in a 3D printed form, or to optimize for cost....

3D Printing News Briefs, January 23, 2021: CADENAS, BCN3D, ExOne & AMGTA, 6K

We’ve got some business news for you in this weekend edition of 3D Printing News Briefs! CADENAS and BCN3D are both reporting good news from 2020, and ExOne has just...

3D Printing News Briefs: May 29, 2018

We’re all business today in 3D Printing News Briefs, as we see companies introducing new products and starting new partnerships. Sharebot and Tractus3D both have new 3D printers, and Omegasonics...