Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research
  3D Printed Denby Sugar bowl



Solid free-form fabrication in fired ceramic as a design aid for concept modelling in the ceramic industry


Awarding body:
Arts and Humanities Research Council
awarded to:
Hoskins, Stephen
researcher participants:
Huson, David and Walters, Peter
project partner:
Denby Pottery
Project duration: 31/03/2011 - 30/03/2012

Final project report Download it here (PDF 1.9MB)

Press Coverage:
Ceramic Review Article
Made Article

RCUK REPort 2013: (Page15) www.rcuk.ac.uk/RCUK

project case studies:
DEnby Cup case study
DEnby bowl case study
peter ting case study
peter walters case study
stephen hoskins case study

Project details:
During the AHRC funded three-year research project ‘The Fabrication of Three Dimensional Art and Craft Artefacts through Virtual Digital Construction and Output’ the investigators Huson and Hoskins developed a patented ceramic material. Whilst there are several research groups working internationally in this field, the CFPR team are currently at the forefront of these developments with a method which uses 3D computer aided design (3D CAD) software to design an object on a computer and print a model directly in a ceramic material to be subsequently fired, glazed and decorated.



 

The primary aim of this new project is to prove the commercial viability of 3D printed ceramic bodies as a design tool for concept modelling of tableware and whiteware for the ceramic industry. A further aim is to investigate ceramic firing supports and their advantages in the production of one-off ceramic design concept models. Using a support, a ceramic 3D printed object can be created and fired without losing its shape in the firing. The ability to print directly in a compatible ceramic material that can be glazed and decorated would be a quantum leap in this process. The project team will:

Collaborate with designers from Denby to develop a method of producing fired ceramic concept models.

Explore the design considerations and constraints for shape and form to suit the 3D printed body.

Collaborate with Denby over support and profile setting creation in order to fire complex ceramic items.

Investigate the potential of producing short run bespoke ceramic designer items.

The grant will fund materials, equipment, travel costs, a symposia and online resources.  Outputs will include journal articles, conference papers, artefacts and case studies. A number of bespoke items will be designed and made by artists and craftspeople in collaboration with the research team and Denby to test the method of producing fired ceramic concept models, the artefacts will be included in an exhibition.



related outcomes:

Symposium


Towards a New Ceramic Future

One day symposium - Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Tuesday 17 January 2012
View event details here

Licence Agreement


UWE has entered in to a licence agreement with Viridis3d LLC (Viridis) granting Viridis the exclusive rights to market ViriClay, a 3D printable ceramic material based on the patented material developed by Professor Stephen Hoskins and Mr Dave Huson.

The material will allow the user to produce unique works without incurring modelling and tool costs. It is directly applicable to the whiteware and tableware industry, where it will shorten ceramic production lead times. And will enable designers, makers and artists to produce works that would simply not have been possible without this technology. ViriClay, has wide domestic and commercial applications for the arts and consumer product markets and offers these advantages:

Reduces the total time, labour, and energy required to make a 3D printed ceramic objects by more than 30%.

Improves the surface finish of glazed parts.

Ceramic prints can be produced from many digital sculpting packages including CAD, 3D scan data, etc.

Compatible with standard 3D printers.

Further detail of the patent can be found at http://worldwide.espacenet.com
 

Conference papers

Novel Ceramic Materials and 3D Printing Applications

Authors: Hoskins, S. and Huson, D.
conference:TCT Live, 25-26 September 2012, NEC Birmingham, UK
url:
http://www.tctmagazine.com/x/tct-live/tctlive.html

Abstract:
Research in the field of 3D printed ceramics has been undertaken for at least 20 years; the initial patents filed by Moo and Cima of MIT in 1992, detail the use of ceramic powders. In the last ten years the research has split between what could be defined as technical ceramics and Domestic Tableware, which invariably includes art and craft ceramics. CFPR is a leader in 3D printed ceramics for Artists and Craftspeople, one of primary objectives of the research undertaken at the CFPR is the creation of actual physical artefacts in ‘real materials’.

The term 3D printing is becoming accepted as a replacement for rapid prototyping, as the technology moves from producing prototypes to creating artefacts in actual materials. Since 2006 research in this field at the CFPR has been supported by government funding and progressed from an assessment of the potential of RP for the visual Arts, including the development of novel processes for craftspeople, culminating in the development of a patented 3D ceramic material that has wider applications for the 3D printing industry.

This material has been well received, with collaborative industrial partnerships with a number of companies, such as Viridis in the USA and Johnson Matthey and Denby Potteries in the UK. Research is currently underway with Denby Potteries on an AHRC funded project ‘Solid Free-form fabrication in fired ceramic as a design aid for concept modelling in the ceramic industry.’
 


The Evolution of a Sugar Bowl

Author: Hoskins, S.
conference: RAPID 2012,
dates 22-25 May 2012, Atlanta, Georgia, USA


Abstract:
This paper provides examples of current research in the field of 3D printed ceramics from a creative design perspective. It will also present a case study of a research collaboration between Denby Potteries and the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), which is intended to move 3D printing from making replica prototypes to creating actual objects in ceramics.

Denby bring to the project expertise from a traditional but forward looking pottery company, who use 3D prototyping as an integral part of their concept design process. The CFPR bring a body of UK Research Council funded research and a patented material consisting of a 3D printable ceramic body. The research undertaken potentially allows the ability to print directly in a compatible ceramic material that can be rapidly glazed and decorated; a quantum leap in concept modelling for Denby, and the tableware industry.

A 3D printed sugar bowl will provide an exemplar of the inherent problems of re-creating an existing ceramic artefact. 3D printing of ceramics is a fundamentally different process from conventional ceramic forming techniques for tableware. Its evolution demonstrates some of the problems and solutions developed during the creation of an actual 3D printed ceramic artefact.
 

The sensorial dimensions of clay: A dialogue between the science and practice of making in clay

Authors: Huson, D. and Budden, S.
Symposium: The Poetics and Physics of Clay: Diverse Approaches to Materiality, 14th March, 2012, University of Manchester, UK

Abstract:  
Clay is a material that has been used by mankind for almost 20,000 years to make objects ranging from small figurative or utilitarian pots, figurines, bricks, pipes and loomweights to large architectural structures such as the Sankore Mosque in Timbuktu, or the Wall of China. The pervasiveness of its uses even in modern day becomes clear when one considers that between half and two thirds of the world’s population still lives or works in buildings made with clay. Thanks to the Material Sciences we have a solid understanding of the properties of clay and its use in construction and manufacturing contexts is ever increasing. Likewise, its malleability and ability to interact with other materials in interesting ways has made clay one of the primary media for artists to work with. While science and art impact each other in a myriad of ways, these linkages are often unspoken and unacknowledged. It is therefore the purpose of this workshop to vocalize how different scientific techniques interface with artistic dimensions and how, in turn, this interaction shapes the objects’ meaning in society.
 


The digital physical artefact: A case study for digital engagement in the creative industries

Authors: Hoskins, S. and Huson, D.
conference:Digital Engagement 2011 (the Digital Economy All Hands Meeting), 15th - 17th November, 2011, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

Abstract:
For the last five years the research team at the Centre for Fine Print Research have concentrated on the interface between creative design and mass market technologies. The research developed from a three-year AHRC project ‘The Fabrication of Art and Craft Artefacts through Virtual Digital Construction and Output’, this led to a patented process for additive layer manufacture of ceramic bodies. Creating the ability to design, print, fire and glaze a finished item in a ceramic body. The primary aim of the project was to investigate the potential for designers and craftspeople to ‘digitally physically’ create one off and bespoke artworks in materials they were familiar whilst using digital technology at all stages of the process, far beyond a virtual on-screen representation. The ability to digitally print ceramics has led not only to a process of benefit to the Art and Design community, but additionally to a growing number of industrial collaborations. Currently the team are working with, Renishaw, Denby Potteries, Johnson Matthey and Viridis LLC in the USA. This is because the ability to print in ceramics is a fundamental shift from creating prototypes in plastic to manufacturing actual objects that have all of the tactile qualities that are so essential to the definition of British Design quality.
 

Journal Article

Towards a new Ceramic Future

Author: Hoskins, S.
Publication: Ceramic Review

Abstract:
This article describes the findings of the AHRC funded research project 'Solid Free-form Fabrication in Fired Ceramic as a Design Aid for Concept Modelling in the Ceramic Industry'. Investigators Huson and Hoskins have developed a patented ceramic material. Whilst there are several research groups working internationally in this field, the CFPR team are currently at the forefront of these developments with a method which uses 3D computer aided design (3D CAD) software to design an object on a computer and print a model directly in a ceramic material to be subsequently fired, glazed and decorated. The article also briefly discusses the need for craftsmanship and the differences in performance between clay and the patented ceramic material.


3D Printing of Ceramics for Design Concept Modelling

Author:David Huson
conference:NIP 27, 27th International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies


Abstract:

A peer-reviewed conference paper given at the 3D Printing and Prototyping panel at the Digital Fabrication 2011 Conference, NIP 27, 27th International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies. David Huson and colleagues at the Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England have recently obtained funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to continue their research into the 3D printing of ceramic materials.

Many ceramic manufacturing companies use 3D CAD software and 3D printing technologies to produce design concept models for evaluation, although their value to the design process is limited due to the type of materials that can be printed, conventional modelling and processing methods still need to be used to achieve a design concept model in a real material. In collaboration with Denby Pottery a leading UK domestic tableware manufacturer the research project will refine and enhance the 3D ceramic printing process already developed at the University.

This collaboration will enable he production of concept models of new design ideas in a real ceramic material that can be printed directly from CAD data, fired, glazed and decorated. This paper details the progress of the research project and uses examples of new designs to illustrate how these novel techniques can show great advantages in terms of time, cost, design flexibility and functionality when compared to existing 3D printing and conventional modelling techniques.