Since forming in 2002, Belgian Design Studio Unfold has shown a real passion for creative uses of ceramics in design. More recently they have been busy pushing the boundaries of personal 3D Printing using ceramics and sharing their progress on the Unfold ~fab blog.
Stratigraphic Porcelain series - Exhibited at Triennial di Milano in April (Photo: Dries Verbruggen)
Amazingly, the carafe & cups pictured above were printed on RepRap style Bits From Bytes 3D Printers. This required development of a very specialized print head and custom software for translating the designs into printer instructions. In an earlier post, Dries explains the difficulties printing with clay paste and how his custom print head uses a air pressure to achieve a (mostly) consistent flow rate.
With this set up Unfold were able to create and test a range of generative designs to be printed in porcelain. There were a lot of models that failed to print, which is to be expected and helps to define what is possible.
Example of a unique infill pattern made possible by custom software (Photo: Dries Verbruggen)
Dries explains: "The goal is to create objects that are more structural and in which there is an interplay between an inside complex structure and a shell like you see in many organic things like plant cut throughs, seeds, diatoms etc. We also looked at origami and folding, medieval ornaments, double walled structures and much more."
Experimentation with wall structures and textures (Photo: Kristof Vrancken)