Porcelain Ceramic Material Info
|Process||Cleaning excess powder from the 3D printed molds is our biggest limitation in manufacturing porcelain. The mold is an inverse of the product itself, where solids of the product are empty space. Laser sintering the mold leaves its interior full of loose powder. We carefully blow it out with compressed air through the flat base of the model, but tight cavities far from the base opening are hard or impossible to clean. This means that models which are complex and have multiple holes in walls or long wires become increasingly hard to print. If you need to troubleshoot, try making the model solid and based on a single “core”.
Because of the molding process, some surfaces may contain seam lines and marks from the funnel. We do our best to repair the surface of the model but because this is done manually there may be some trace memory of these marks left on the surface.
|Surface and Glazing||Glazes are more than just pigments, they are colored glass being added to the surface of model. Because of this, each glaze behaves differently and will yield different results. Glazes may vary in thickness depending on the geometry, this could include dripping and ripples. Porcelain tends to chip when very thin and glazes will be extra thin on sharp edges, so we recommend rounding off all edges.
Matte Black, Gloss Black, Gloss White, and Gloss Red go on the surface of the model in a consistent, opaque tone. Small details may be reduced due to the thickness of the glaze.
Gloss Celadon Green, Gloss Oribe Green, Gloss Cobalt Blue, and Gloss Blue are more translucent and edges may break, causing embossed detail to appear whiter and engraved details to be a deeper color. Because of how the glazes move on the surface during firing the thickness of the glaze may vary based on the geometry.
The process starts when you upload and order a model in porcelain. Left: View of the model. Right: Cross section of the model
Our Porcelain Checking Team uses special software to generates a mold which, after printing, can be taken apart and cleaned. The mold may require multiple parts in order for the internal spaces to be properly cleaned of raw unsintered powder. The mold making software also adds a funnel to the mold, through which the porcelain is poured.
Left: Cross section of 3 mold parts
The porcelain material is poured in and allowed to dry
When the porcelain dries, the mold is removed and the product is fired in a kiln.
The funnel for pouring is cut off and any seam lines or defects on the surface are manually repaired. Because the seam lines are repaired by hand, internal surfaces that are not accessible may be left as is.
Depending on the geometry, the Porcelain product is either dipped or sprayed with glaze and then fired again. This causes the glaze to melt and coat the surface of the product. Any spots left unglazed will remain white.