Clay 3D Printer Creates New Possibilities


“The pottery’s wheel arrival has been a substantial innovation for the History of Ceramic and opened up to new possibilities of expressiveness and performance. Today the 3D Printing is the new Revolution.”- Wasp’s CEO


WASP's new 20 40 & 40 100 Clay 3D Printers

WASP have recently released a new Clay 3D Printer in two different sizes that are specially designed to print hard ceramic materials. WASP have been aiming to develop and advance 3D printing systems that work well with the use of dense materials like clay, porcelain, aluminium, zirconium, and advanced ceramics, to expand and promote fluid-dense material use in 3D printing.

With the release of two new 3D clay printers, the 20 40 and the 40 100, as well as a new clay extruder, the Extruder XL, the clay printers have proven to stand out with their new innovated design and technology that delivers fast and accurate performance using all ceramic materials. With a clean and compact design, the aluminium and steel structure guarantees stability and precision, obtaining quality prints with dense fluid materials. Both printers have an extruder pressure chamber mounted into the machine so that you only need to provide compressed air to get an integrated clay solution. In addition it has an open frame for better access, allowing you to interact with your prints and giving you more creativity, flexibility and reign over your work. A recognisable difference between the two printers is their size, the 20 40 can sit upon your desktop at a height of 87cm, whereas the 40 100 is a printer you would probably want on your floor. Sitting at a height of 195cm, its size is not the only reason you wouldn't want the 40 100 on your desk, as it has a new 'No Stop Print' function, which gives you the option to print directly onto the floor! For each piece printed, you can pick it up, and continue printing without waiting for the piece to dry. Broadening the potential and creativity of your work. 


Wasp 20 40 Clay 3D Printer Wasp 40 100 Clay 3D Printer Clay Sculptures made by Wasp 40 100 Clay 3D Printer


Clay 3D Printing in Ceramic Art

Clay 3D printing offers new possibilities to ceramic sculpture, with new and improved printers specially designed to work with dense fluid material. Sculptures made by a clay 3D printer are built up layer by layer, and then fired and glazed like normal. However 3D print now gives the opportunity to print sculptures that are much more highly intricate and complex, that wouldn’t normally be possible using the conventional method of pottery. *3D printing is broadening the horizon for quicker manufacturing processes and new design options.

"We were interested in clay experimentation to open new opportunities and glimmers in the sculpture field and in the contemporary art section and we are now satisfied with the result. As usual this is the first step of a research process that is going to improve more and more in its final results." - WASP

In 2016 Wasp collaborated with the artist Francesco Pacelli with the aim to expand their knowledge about the LDM process, and looking at increasing the number of possible extrudable ceramic materials. Creating the right consistency of the ceramic material is very important, otherwise you can come across multiple hurdles. Plastics and polymers are easier to print in 3D because they set at room temperature. Whereas with wet materials such as clay you run into problems such as shrinkage, drying and collapsing. This collaboration was beneficial to a better understanding of the needed consistency of the clay, and Wasp and Pacelli seem to have hit the nail on the head. Ceramic Art and 3D printing blend together and create something unlike anything we have seen before. With the combination of the precision of computer technology, and the wet messy material of a craft that spans back over thousands of years, the end result when the two are merged creates beautiful work that’s pleasing to the eye, and has that modern touch to something normally so rustic. The pieces created from this collaboration are stunning and one of a kind (pictured below).


Yellow Clay Sculpture Made by Clay 3D Printer Two Sculptures Red and Blue Made by Clay 3D Printer Close Up of Brown Sculpture Made by Clay 3D Printer


Culture and Heritage

For what seems like the first time 3D print has been used in the restoration of cultural heritage, Wasp’s 40 70 3D Printer was used at the historical Pompeii site in Italy. In 1863 casts of men, women and children that had died after Mount Vesuvius had erupted, were unearthed in Pompeii, Italy. And it is now that we have found a concrete way of replicating the world renowned bodies without even touching them. Wasp’s 40 70 3D Printer spent a year in the Pompeii ruins, where they printed Twenty-eight ornamental statues exactly replicated from real casts of decorative objects found In the gardens of houses in Pompeii. They were left where they were found, in the homes of their owners who put them there.

3D printing has solved a big problem that arose with the introduction of a new governmental regulation that banned direct copies being made of artworks. This process consisted of filling the negative space with silicone rubber, which can cause damage and upset to the artwork.

“This procedure undoubtedly generates identical copies – says Napoli – but it can actually damage the originals because of the contact, especially detaching the rubber: for this reason it’s been properly forbidden. So now 3D printing is the only option”.

Wasp 3D Printers have found a fundamental role in Art and Cultural Heritage, and we don’t doubt that it will stop there.


Exact copy of pompeii cast ornament made by Clay 3D Printer Exact copy of pompeii cast ornament made by Clay 3D Printer