3D printing goes back to the Stone Age

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3924 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3924 Articles

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This is really cool. According to ScienceDaily, group of researchers at University of Washington have come up with a formulation of artist’s ceramic powder to replace 3D printing media, which can cost $30-50 per pound. They are distributing their recipe online for free (which can produce a pound of material for less than a dollar). The pots pictured above were made in a 3D printer using their ceramic mix.

About five years ago, Mark Ganter, a UW mechanical engineering professor and longtime practitioner of 3-D printing, became frustrated with the high cost of commercial materials and began experimenting with his own formulas. He and his students gradually developed a home-brew approach, replacing a proprietary mix with artists’ ceramic powder blended with sugar and maltodextrin, a nutritional supplement. The results are printed in a recent issue of Ceramics Monthly. Co-authors are Duane Storti, UW associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Ben Utela, a former UW doctoral student.

The formula the team is using can be found in this article in Ceramics Monthly.

3-D Printing Hits Rock-bottom Prices With Homemade Ceramics Mix [Thanks, Alberto!]

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