In pursuit of perfecting the imperfect – Ceramic 3D printing process for creating unique surfaces

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Bachelor's thesis
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Taiteiden ja suunnittelun kandidaattiohjelma
In this thesis, a ceramic printing process is studied through experimentation of variables that influence creation of errors i.e. imperfections in the printed form of small cup-like models. The goal is to create interesting and organic surface textures by incorporating imperfections into products printed in a precise industrial fabrication. I find the subject of organic imperfections created in fabrication processes fascinating. Thus the unique capabilities of ceramic printers in surface design has been a target of experimentation. The content of this thesis is divided into the research phase where the creation of desired errors is explored and into the phase of serial print runs where the aim has been to reinforce and verify the findings by producing structurally similar forms that all are unique due to the errors created by the printing process. The study was performed by using the Delta WASP 40100 clay printer with stoneware and porcelain as a starting material to produce the printed forms. Printer parameters were altered and individually studied for their influence in creation of errors. Research phase indicated that the most important element what influenced the end product was the quality of clay. However, pressure and flow can be used to counteract the clay quality and in conjunction with layer height produce ultimately desired errors. Whether the findings to create defined imperfections in the printed forms could be applied to a bigger scale, several different printed forms were produced through methods ranging from layer jumping, platform manipulation and gravitational depression. Experiments proved to be successful. In conclusion, The process producing defined errors on the surface of clay cups can be manipulated and controlled. Clay quality is essential producing end products successfully. Variables used to guide the clay quality and facilitate or nullify errors to ensure successful printing can be recognized. However, there is no definite settings for ideal printing results. Instead, variables must be calibrated to accommodate the quality and viscosity of the clay in such a way, that will result in the creation of desired effects.
Lautenbacher, Nathalie
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Lautenbacher, Nathalie
ceramic printing, experimental research, surface design, imperfection, serial production, self-manufacturing
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