Improved glaze process for ceramic prints


#1

I was having problems with getting the glaze to stick to ceramic part. I learned a very helpful tip from a blog post by Jessica Rosenkrantz (who knows quite a lot about 3D-printed ceramics!). https://n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com/blog/?p=8115#print The trick is to bisque fire the ceramic piece after printing, then glaze, then fire to full temperature.

Here’s my process:

  1. For vases, and similar shapes, I print with the base of the vase parallel to the build plate, with the open end facing the tank of resin. This will create a big airlocking problem, so I add a 2mm hole in the wall of the vase in the .stl using Meshmixer. I use the recommended support size and density, and then remove all supports on the walls of the vase using the box selection tool. The base is almost completely covered with supports – almost solid!

  2. After printing, I clamp the build plate in a bench vise and carefully chip off the support blob with a end-cutting xacto blade (tiny chisel). Tapping with a hammer works much better than any other technique I’ve tried.

  3. Standard cleaning with IPA, and let air-dry. I use coarse sandpaper on a piece of glass to remove the support nubs from the base of the vase and leave a flat surface.

  4. I use the Formlabs recommended ramp and hold times, but change the maximum temperature down to 1040 C. The part is “bisque fired” and more delicate, but also more porous, which allows it to soak up the glaze.

  5. I’m using Amaco Celebration high-fire glaze, and add equal volumes of glaze and water to a dipping container. I dip the part, and let dry by hanging it on a wire hook. After fully dry, I dip again, this time hanging it in a different orientation to let the glaze flow all over the piece. It seems 3-4 total coats works best for a nice silky smooth finish. I think the glaze could be a little thicker as well the 1:1 ratio might be too much water.

  6. I remove the glaze from the base of the vase by rubbing it on a wet cloth held flat on the table.

  7. After the glaze is fully dry, I fire it to 1250 C, at a ramp-up rate of 6.5 C/min (about three hours), and let it cool at 20 C /min or the kiln’s natural cooldown rate, whichever is slower.


#2

Fantastic. That is a beautiful blue.