Introducing Glypsum (glazed gypsum plaster)

Posted in 3DP Materials on December 21, 2010 by 3dpglass

At Solheim Lab in Washington, we have been printing many, many molds and having great fun casting glass (more posts on that subject later).   It seems that our kilns have been going non-stop over the past week (what an exciting time in our lab).

Today’s post is a new development that came as a result  of observing  the glass molds after the casting process.    The molds were quite robust after firing.   We tested fired PVOH (hydroperm) past 2200 F (1200 C) succesfully.  Thus it seemed that PVOH might be able to take glaze!  Wow!

We test fired a few bars with glaze and the results were positive (although they were very porous).    Laura West suggested showing something cool (not just your standard test bars).


We present a simple bowl with glaze and and some dark blue crystal glaze sprinkles.     We took care of the porosity issue by infusing with colloidal silica before glazing.

With all of our excitement, we sent an email to Michael Eden in England with a simple question “Hey Michael, have you ever heard of anyone glazing plaster?”.  The answer “Yes, me!”

{Copyright Michael Eden}

“I infused one of the commercial printing plasters with a proprietary refractory infiltrate (from Axiatec) that allows it to be heated to 1500C (2730F). The material is too absorbent for glaze, so I coated with vitreous slip, fired it to 1000 C, then dipped it into our lovely lead glaze, stained with copper oxide. Then fired to 1085 (1985F)

Definitely a case of the pre-industrial meeting the post-industrial!”
Great fun to find other minds that ask the same questions “What if you did …  OR Could we do that…?”

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Slip Casting into direct print VOHP molds

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10, 2010 by 3dpglass

After our success, with glass casting in VOHP plaster (USG Hydroperm), we had a discussion in the Open3DP lab about “What’s next?”.     The students in the lab are working on their final two class projects, one of which involves printing molding masters.  They use the masters to create plaster molds for slip casting.      It seemed like a natural thing to try 3D printing of slip casting molds.

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We printed a simple two part mold for our test pot – SW Pot.  The resulting molds looked just fine but how would they perform?  We tested the mold pair with low fire slip (also known as talc-body slip).  It seems that the printed molds performed at least as well as traditionally created plaster molds.

It seems that our students will be producing slip casting molds a new way in the future.

Lecturing @ Disseny HUB in Barcelona

Posted in Uncategorized on December 4, 2010 by 3dpglass

Last week, DHUB in Barcelona was a gracious host of Mark Ganter and Professor Dr. Salvador Borrós of Institut Químic de Sarrià-Universitat Ramon Llull.  The event (“Materiality”) was the part of a series of lectures presented by the Fabrication Laboratory: Full Print3D.   Salvador’s  presentation was an overview of the material science/material engineering  issues in the arena of additive manufacturing.   Mark’s lecture detailed the events of the Solheim RP lab over the last year.

DHub has an amazing presentation of additive manufacturing artifacts from around the world.   Please consider checking it out.

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Here’s a quick overview of the work of Mark Ganter, Duane Storti, and Meghan Trainor.

Glass Casting in Printed Molds: Part I

Posted in 3DP Materials, glass casting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2010 by chwyman

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My name is Charlie Wyman and I am currently a graduate student at the University of Washington in Mechanical Engineering.  Prior to beginning my studies at the University of Washington, I received my B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Whitman College, and upon graduating I spent several months designing and fabricating metal sculptures from copper and steel.  This quarter I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work in the Solheim RP Lab under the guidance of Prof. Mark Ganter.

Recently, under the direction of Prof. Ganter and Prof. Laura West, I have been experimenting with “kiln casting glass” directly into printed molds.  The primary material that has been used thus far is hydroperm, a material that is ready to use out of the bag.  For the first few tests, I used a standard glass firing schedule and System 96 glass, which is more viscous that typical casting glass. I also used an open-faced mold of a mask I designed as the test mold.

Preliminary results have shown promise, but we still have some details to work out.  We initially had some problems with mold burn-in and devitrification, but I believe this was due to discrepancies in the firing schedule.   These issues have been significantly reduced.

Future tests will include varying the firing schedule and temperatures to minimize the frosty surface, spots, and devitrification, and to determine at what point mold burn-in occurs. I will also experiment with different types of glass and mixing other materials with the hydroperm.

Presentation at Ars Mathmatica in Paris

Posted in rp/am sculpture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 28, 2010 by rpsculptadmin

Christian Lavigne introducing Laura West (left) and Mark Ganter (right) via weblink

Recently Mark Ganter from University of Washington and Laura West from Fresno City College gave a presentation titled why collaboration matters at Ars Mathematica in Paris France.  We discussed the research we started before beginning to work together and more importantly the results of our collaboration.  Since beginning our work together, we have come up with an effective metal casting formula for 3D printing, several materials that print straight out of the bag and a material that casts both metal and glass (watch for upcoming post by Charlie Wyman) well straight out of the bag.  If you would like to see the powerpoint slide show of our presentation head to the post on Open3dp.

About Ars Mathematica from their website:

“2010 is the “International Year of Biodiversity“.
Considering that this is a particularly interesting topic for a meeting of artists and researchers, the association ARS MATHEMATICA proposes an exhibition and an international conference on the subject, opting for original perspectives. It is supported in this effort by the French Association of Exobiology, astronomers, historians, etc.., And by various institutions and companies involved in biology, 3D, high-tech…
The exhibition, conferences, and (subject) performances will be held from Saturday 23 to Sunday, October 31, the CARREFOUR NUMÉRIQUE (CYBERBASE) of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie / UNIVERSCIENCE, 30, avenue Corentin-Cariou , 75019 Paris.”

You can find more information about Ars Mathematica here.  There is also a video of the exhibition and conference site which you can find here.

Port Townsend Foundry test pour of hydroperm 3D printed mold

Posted in metal casting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 24, 2010 by skaad
co-authored by Laura West and Dave Feathers

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Recently, at the Solheim Lab, we sent a 3D printed mold printed in hydroperm off to Dave Feathers at Port Townsend Foundry.  The mold was placed in a greensand jacket and then poured in aluminum bronze.  The mold was not pre-heated, nor was it baked prior to pouring to push off all the moisture.  In spite of this, the results were quite impressive.
Port Townsend Foundry has been involved in 3D printing technology since they originally worked with the founder of Prometals.  As of late, Dave Feathers (design engineer and artist for the foundry) has been influential in the development of a new material from Viridis 3D (MIT technology), and has recently focused attention on Solhiem Labs and the groundbreaking work of professors Laura West and Mark Ganter.  Getting this new technology to mash with the manufacturing environment has been the relentless pursuit of Dave Feathers and Pete Langley (owner Port Townsend Foundry).  Pete comes from a lineage of brains,  starting with the guy who invented the theory of flight, another one who founded General Dynamics, and another who invented the spin casting fishing reel!  Pete Langley’s high quality castings have been sailing all over the world for the past 28 years.  The prototype in the photos is of a 5/8ths shackle which you will be seeing in the future aboard America’s Tall Ship, the USCG Barque Eagle.  Port Townsend Foundry already has outfitted her with blocks, jib hanks and spectacle irons.

Photo of Charlie Wyman’s first bronze

Posted in metal casting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by skaad

This is a photo of one of the bronzes we poured when I was at UW.  It is printed from a file created by Charlie Wyman and was his first experience at pouring bronze.  It was poured into an open face mold using one of the materials we were testing.  Considering it was an open face mold, I think the results were quite good.

Look for a post that is coming soon about Charlies continued research with the use of hydroperm and glass.

Bronze poured into open face mold by Charlie Wyman