3D printing technology has come a long way since its inception using plastics and subsequently with new materials being introduced every now and then.
In past, a research team from HRL Laboratories had come up with a pre-ceramic resin that can be used for 3D printing complex shapes just like regular polymers. The research said the new ceramic material can withstand up to 1700° Celsius or 3092° Fahrenheit. This minimizes the limitations of ceramic 3D printing and opens up new doors for creating more complex 3D designs out of ceramic.
The use of ceramics has gained popularity recently due to the versatility, beauty, and safety of the material and has its own advantages over metals and plastics.
Images source: Indiegogo
However, the technology is not a replacement for handcrafted ceramic items but it’s a tool that can add significant value to your work.
So you want to 3D print a cool coffee mug or animal figurine for your home? Or are you looking for some special ceramics for your lab? Then you might consider ceramic 3d printing. If you’re still a rookie when it comes to ceramic 3D printing, don’t worry – we’ll fill you in.
Now, you can create your own ceramics shape with elegant texture using a new type of ceramic 3D printer called ‘JKM’ which aims to make it easier to create complicated ceramics. The team behind this invention is Michael Cheng, founder, and maker and Pluto Lee, a software engineer who helped in building the heart of the system.
Images source: Indiegogo
JKM is very user-friendly desktop ceramic 3D printer to operate that can print clay and porcelain which is different from traditional FDM 3D printer. It allows you to print a special vase, cup, and bowl – a new tool for ceramic art-making with a print speed of 15-100 mm/s and works at a 4-5 bar.
JKM Extruder can be compatible with many existing FDM 3D printers. It has good performance, removes bubbles out of clay that will make it easier to prepare the ceramic printing material, and improve the accuracy of printing.
You must be eager to know about its software compatibility, let’s check it out – It supports Windows, Mac or Linux and you can connect either SD card or USB. The JKM also supports formats such as STL, OBJ or G-code and print control software – Slic3r and Cura.
According to the creator of JKM, you can design the models by using sketchup, blender, fusion 360, SolidWorks, rhino, and many or you can download the models from the website Thingiverse directly.
It uses the Firmware, an open source motherboard which is compatible with Repetier firmware while its extruder has a high-precision stepper motor-driven screw extrusion structure.
It has very simple steps – Import your model file to the slicer software, and generate the G-code. Prepare the clay or porcelain which you can buy anywhere and finally click start to print! Also, you can glaze it with different colors, then fire it via kiln.
JKM 3D printer has an edge over the traditional ceramic 3D printer LUTUM at price factor. You can get JKM at a much cheaper price of USD 699 as compared to LUTUM at EURO 6300 plus!
It can print almost all clay and porcelain, as long as they are smooth. You should test and find the best clay in your market; the start-up will provide you the testing model to print.
The crowd fund-raising campaign for this product is currently live at Indiegogo. An Idea for creating this product was started during December 2016. The 1st and 2nd generation products were subsequently launched in October 2017 and March 2018 respectively.
Michael Cheng from Jingdezhen which is a small town in China aims to start production during this June and expects to deliver the product during August 2018. Generally, the clay and porcelain materials are easy to get and also affordable for everyone which can be reused for further creation. The ceramics are suitable for both prototyping in architecture and for small serial production.