Local clay was made more pliable for 3D printing by adding biomaterial. This enables the development of complex geometrical ceramic elements, which can be used indoors and outdoors, and may serve as a link between architecture and clay construction. My job is between classic craftsmanship and digital innovation. On the one hand the processing of clay, a traditional craft material that has existed since the beginning of humanity, and on the other hand a machine with high technology of our time in the form of a 3D printer. This work is an interplay of traditional craftsmanship and digital technology. 2018 / www.cindyvaldezstudio.com
What did you create?
Local clay was made more pliable for 3D printing by adding biomaterial. This enables the development of complex geometrical ceramic elements, which can be used indoors and outdoors, and may serve as a link between architecture and clay construction. This work is an interplay of traditional craftsmanship and digital technology.
Why did you make it?
Barros is a Spanish word which means clay and clay was one of my first toys during my childhood. I was born in a small village in Peru and spent the first four years in my grandparents‘ house. This house was a mud house. When I touched the material, it immediately reminded me of the exposed walls of clay from my grandparents‘ house. The time I was experimenting with the clay has inspired me to present my bachelor thesis with the title „Barros“ and the develop of 3D printed modules of natural clay, which can be used as an architectural element in indoor and outdoor areas.
How did you make it?
For this project I had to build a 3D print special machine for my needs. Following the idea of „open source“, the artist Jonathan Keep provides drawing plans of the machine, parts of it and the source code modified by him on his homepage for the 3D ceramic Printer. Thus, it is possible to make adjustments and improvements according to individual needs. In my case, the goal was to print large parts in the foreground. In order to be able to print parts in the format of approx. 30 cm x 30 cm, it was necessary to scale the existing components by a factor of 3. This opens up more opportunities for experimentation. As well as small objects, the objects of a large footprint and significative height are accurate to tailor made geometry. The developed modules were intended for use in a Spanish finca. Due to the ubiquity of natural clay in Spainish area I decided to use it as a main content for my thesis. During an internship in Chile I learned to use Aloe Vera as a natural glue. A mixture of clay, water and aloe vera can have very good plastic properties and thus be well processed by the 3D printer. Also, the cracking during drying can be reduced. During the testing of the correct mix I realized that it takes a lot of experience to find the right mixture. You have to get a feeling for the different components and over time you will find the right composition. This part of the process was one of my favorite parts, the contrast of craftsmanship, natural materials and the use of modern technology was strongly felt here.
Your entry’s specification
Each piece has aprox. 20x17cm there are also the two constructions for interior and exterior that measure aprox. 90x17cm and 70x70cm