3D Ceramic Printing Shaking up a 30,000 Year Old Industry
(tctmag) 3D printing is perfectly positioned for facilitating the growing demand for customized ceramic products, as more people look at alternative and emerging methods of manufacturing, according to Andy Jeffrey, President of ceramic 3D printing company Figulo. However, 3D printing in ceramics requires just as much precision, skill and an understanding of your materials to make high-quality products as traditional ceramics production methods.
“3D printing with ceramics is extremely challenging,” Jeffery said. “It is a complex dance of materials, machines, design, computing, kilns, chemistry and marketing. The ability to get all this right and produce exciting, beautiful, functional and artistic ceramic objects is the reward. After 18 years of 3D printing ceramics I am still amazed at some of the objects we can print. We are constantly pushing and expanding the boundaries of what we can do all the way through our process from powder to finished object,” he said.
The 3D printing expert was positive about the recent boom in 3D printing coverage in the media, which has been criticized by some in the industry for focusing too heavily on desktop 3D printers that produce smaller models predominantly made from plastic materials. Jeffery thinks his own business – and 3D printing in general – has benefited from the increased attention the press has given the manufacturing technique and very much believes that the publicity cannot be a bad thing for 3D printing in general.