Adding to the ever growing list of 3d-printable materials, researchers at the University of the West of England have developed a new way to 3d-print ceramic. As you may already know, ceramics require a very high temperature usually in a kiln to harden the ceramic material into a final product which is then glazed.
The process is actually somewhat similar to 3d-printing glass. In glass printing, tiny glass particles are printed with an adhesive. The model is then put in a kiln allowing the particles to melt together while the adhesive evaporates. The ceramic powder is shaped with a binding agent a fired in the kiln to make a working prototype. The glaze must be applied before firing though. In the future, they hope to make a binding agent that actually allows the ceramic to be self glazing. The binding material will actually be the glaze. This will save lots of time in the process.
Artistic applications of 3d-printing continue to grow paralleling industrial applications. The ability to 3d-print ceramics allows for unlimited new design options while simultaneously saving time, materials, man hours and money. Well done guys.