UWE + Denby Pottery push the boundaries in 3D ceramic print

Issue date: 28 March 2011


The University of the West of England is collaborating with Denby Pottery to push the boundaries in new techniques to print in 3D in ceramics.

The Centre for Fine Print Research at UWE has been awarded almost £100k (£97,861) from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to further develop a technology which enables ceramic objects to be printed in 3D.

The work will be carried out by Professor Stephen Hoskins, David Huson and Dr Peter Walters from the CFPR. The patented technology enables users to design, print, fire and glaze a ceramic item, allowing production of items that until now have not been possible to manufacture.

The technology was originally developed with AHRC funding and this follow-on funding will enable the UWE team to collaborate with Denby Pottery to help ensure this exciting new technology meets the needs of end-users, including Denby.

Gary Hawley, Senior Designer, Denby Pottery, said,“Denby pottery look forward to supporting UWE in this exciting new area of development, we believe UWE in collaboration with Denby can pool their combined skills to unlock a process that pushes the boundaries of what is currently possible.”

Professor Stephen Hoskins from UWE says that this development means that for the first time it will be possible to print rapid prototypes in ceramic. He says,“Prior to this ceramic prototypes were cast in plastic or plaster so it was not possible to fire the prototype and test the glazes. To me it is particularly exciting to combine working with creative designers on an industrial level. The new techniques will allow Denby to trial everything they make in the material they use for manufacture.”

The new 12 month project 'Solid Free-form fabrication in Fired Ceramics as a Design Aid for Concept Modelling in the Ceramics Industry' aims to prove the viability of using 3D printing of ceramics as an industry design tool.

A number of bespoke items will be designed and made by artists and craftspeople in collaboration with the research team and Denby to test the method of producing fired ceramic concept models. The artefacts will be included in an exhibition that will demonstrate the technology to other users. The research team are working with UWE's Technology Transfer Team to commercialise this technology.

The AHRC Follow-on Funding Scheme is a new pilot scheme running initially for 12 months. It provides funds to support innovative engagements with non-HEI partners which foster potential pathways to impact and the funding to CFPR is one of the first awards announced under this new route.

Ends

FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers

BRISTOL UWE

Tel: 0117 32 82208

E-mail: Jane.Kelly@uwe.ac.ukor Mary.Price@uwe.ac.uk

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