Denser Can Be Better
Unlike most of our other 3D printed materials, for which the cost depends on product volume, Porcelain is priced based on the surface area of the part. This means that often times, hollow parts are more expensive than solid parts, since they have greater surface area even if there is less volume. Thicker, denser parts are also easier to manufacture and ship, so they are more likely to be successful products.
Large flat bottoms offer better access for cleaning and add stability in glaze firing. Flat bottoms can be removed in the mold and any defects are easily repaired. Models without flat bottoms need to be designed with consideration for how the model will sit in the kiln during firing.
Too Many Holes
Holes in the walls of models will generate connections between the inside and outside of the mold. These can be extremely difficult to separate, take apart and properly clean out.
Hollow molds tend to make overhanging geometry inside of the model. These can prevent our tools from accessing the interior and cleaning it fully. Instead of fully hollow parts, consider making the model as solid as possible.
Wires and Complex Geometry
Long wires can turn into tunnels which can be difficult to airblast fully.
Some geometries with thin cantilevered walls and wires may easily break in production. Extended features should be short and well supported.
Details and Printing
Embossed and engraved details are limited by the resolution of the SLS printing along with the cleaning and casting process.
Glaze Access for Internal Surfaces
An internal surface, such as the inside of a tube or hollow cavity, can only be glazed if we can physically reach it. To ensure that the interior of a product is completely glazed, please make sure the cavity opening is at least 15mm in diameter. This is particularly important for products intended to hold water, such as vases. If the opening of a vase is under 15mm, the inside will not be fully glazed, and the vase will not be water tight.
Choosing a Glaze
The glazing of each model is done by hand with special attention by our inhouse ceramicists. Because the glaze is applied by people and not machines, the application of every model will be slightly different. This is part of the beauty of a ceramic object - it also means the glaze choice for your piece is extremely important.
Glazes are a type of glass used to achieve a wide variety of effects on the surface of a ceramic product. They can have a variety of characteristics:
- "Transparent" glazes can be seen through, and show more depth and detail. They allow text and small details to be more visible
- "Opaque" glazes cannot be seen through, and cover the surface and color of the clay. They obscure small details like lettering and subtle textures.
- "Glossy" glazes are shiny and reflect light
- "Matte" glazes have no shine and absorb light with no reflection
- "Semi Transparent" glazes have partial transparency
- "Semi Opaque" glazes are partially opaque, but still have a small amount of translucency
Gloss Celedon is a transparent blue green perfect for objects with small details
Gloss Oribe Green is a transparent emerald green glaze. The unique nature of this glaze is its slight color variation depending on application. This glaze is good for medium sized details.
Gloss Red is a glossy opaque glaze that will often completely obscure details
Gloss White is a Semi-Opaque glaze. It has thick coverage on surfaces, and thinner coverage on high points and sharp edges. This glaze will show some detail but is ideal for designs with large details and/or smooth surfaces.
Gloss Black is a glossy opaque glaze that will often completely obscure details
Matte Black is an opaque glaze that will often completely obscure details.