What’s all this about 3D Printing?

March 11th 2016
By: Melanie

Will 3D printing start to offer more? For decades, 3D printing promised a whole range of exciting options, but in theory it tended to only actually produce small plastic trinkets that ended to cost more to produce than those using traditional manufacturing processes.

As the technology has evolved some say that things now really are changing and  the potential of the latest 3D development, laser sintering, has got designers and manufacturers really excited. This development means that by using powder instead of liquid ceramics and metals can also be 'printed’, as well as plastic.  This will create a wealth of new potential applications that has got one Cumbrian ceramicist Michael Eden excited. He has made pots traditionally for decades but when exploring the potential of 3D printing he has started to use the new technology. “It just seemed to wake up another side of my brain,” he says. “I thought, if I can draw these things then the computer can make them. I can produce the impossible object. I don’t need to think about gravity or centrifugal force on the potter’s wheel.”

After honing his 3D printing expertise at the Royal College of Art, he now produces striking vessels that mirror traditional forms but are infinitely more complex. “It was a journey from the 17th century, and the hand techniques that we were using, to the 21st Century, utilising these new tools and new technology,” Eden explains. “A few of the pieces have been inspired by Josiah Wedgwood and James Watt. I think if they were around now, they would be using 3D printing and scanning.” Who knows what we will be putting in our display cabinets of the future?

Source: The Telegraph