Sunday, September 19, 2010

Designing a test tile

I’ve been printing some initial tests and will have images up soon.

In the meantime, I have designed a test tile using Rhino 3D. 3D printing is fairly new to me. As I get more experience, I’ll get a better idea of what is useful information and what is not. As of now, I’m testing for a few different aspects: namely linear shrinkage and resolution. Resolution will be affected by layer thickness and also by how much bleeding occurs during the printing process. For this second aspect, I have included both intrusions and protrusions from the main bar. With results that bleed too much, material within the holes will probably not depowder easily. Resolution of the protrusions will probably be a bit more forgiving in this respect. That’s what I’m thinking anyway. Well see how this translates in real life.

Side 1 - Intrusions and protrusions. The nominal values refer to the width of each feature. For the height / depth, I'm using three times half the width (i.e. the protrusion on the far right is 0.04" wide and 0.06" tall; the intrusions is 0.04" wide and 0.06" deep).

Side 2 - Id. No test is meaningful without it!

Side 3 - Intrusion test. A variation on side #1. The smaller dimensions on side #1 may be a bit too optimistic. These dimensions are more generous.

Side 4 - Shrinkage line. I'm using 100 mm, as this is common in ceramic shrinkage bar tests. 1 mm translates readily into 1%, making measurements straightforward.

Perspective showing overall dimensions - That's 0.39 x 4.57 inches. Also note the intrusion on the end. The sharp inside corners should be quite telling for depowdering/bleeding purposes.

Screen shot of the template file.

The Rhino file for this is found here…3DM file

I also have the STL output from this file here…STL file


  1. Hello Carlo,
    I cam across your site at Open 3DP and find it very interesting. I hope to start my own ceramic experiments at the Bartlett School of Architecture's Digital Manufacturing Centre at UCL in London.
    I have been speaking to Mark Ganter for some time, he printed some pieces from one of my designs which I have very successfully glazed and fired.
    My background is 20+ years as a potter before taking 2 years out to undertake an MPhil at the Royal College of Art in London. Since then all my work has been 3D printed, sometimes using a non-fired ceramic material to coat them.
    I'll be going to New York in April for SOFA and wondered whether it would be possible to visit you at Alfred?
    In the meantime I will be reading your blog in great detail as it looks extremely valuable for the tests I hope to start.
    Best wishes

  2. Hi Michael,

    We'd love to have you out here. Please let me know the dates you are thinking of as you get closer to finalizing your trip. Would you be interested in giving some sort of presentation on your work while you are out here? No pressure, just something to think about.

    I've seen your work before. Geoffrey Mann came to visit last year and turned me on to it. Very inspiring! Feel free to contact me: csammarco[at] Thanks, Carlo.