Before you ask, the 3D printer itself isn’t made of clay. That would be silly. And I’m not talking about printer that extrudes layers of clay–wait, yes I am. I’m talking exactly about a 3D printer printing beautiful art with layers of clay.
Dabbling in pottery is no easy task. You have to put on an apron–even though you aren’t cooking–what? Sit on a very uncomfortable chair, and hope to the heavens your creation doesn’t come out looking like someone took a shovel to wedding cake. Apart from this, you’re literally getting your hands dirty by with the dirtiest material on Earth: dirt.
But what if you could hit a button and watch that clay sculpture form right before your eyes?
The result is ClayXYZ, a 3D printer that does most of the dirty work for you. By simply loading your clay and your design, the printer brings your creation to life.
You can create all sorts of things–Lamps for your dingy living quarters, Cups so you can give the impression people come over for tea. Cup holders (which are essential to said cups) so you don’t ruin your fine particle wood countertop. If you’re worried the finished design might not be to your liking, you can finsih, carve, glaze and fire the clay once it finishes printing. Altogether cutting down the crafting time considerably.
Even if you don’t have the experience to design a cup that doesn’t leak (who doesn’t really), you can still download one of many models from the printer’s official website or on sites like Thingiverse. The aim of the printer is to make both 3D printing and clay design accessible for everyone.
Apart from being accessible, the ClayXYZ is also affordable. If you already own a FDM 3D printer and don’t want to spend the initial $849 for the entire shebang, you can simply buy the extrusion device for $349, connect it to your printer, and you’re ready to go. That alone is pretty ingenious. The material made for printing is clay (if you didn’t guess it), which is really cheap and can be mixed with other additives like gypsum powder to add strength and a different feel to your designs.
And guess what? If you have no plans of firing up your finished designs in a kiln and just want to admire the printing process, you can simply dump your unwanted creation in a vat of water and reuse the clay all over again.
With a wide variety of nozzles and a high-precision stepper motor drive, print precision of your clay creation comes down to a very detailed 0.2mm. You can check out the printing process over at the ClayXYZ’s official YouTube channel and find more details on its Kickstarter page where it was fully funding with over $87,000 USD. Pre-orders are available on their website for $849 before it goes up to $960.