A new type of 3D printer, unveiled at CES, aims to make it easier to create complicated, mass-produced ceramics.
Designed by Kwambio, a New York-based startup that launched last year to create and deliver made-to-order 3D-printed objects on demand, the Ceramo One enables faster creation and more intricate shapes. Typically, such 3D-printed ceramics were made with liquid ceramics, which required the creation of a mold as well as longer production times. With glazing, the entire process to make, say, a cup, could take up to 10 days.
According to company CEO Vlad Usov, Ceramo One is not only faster—utilizing what’s called binder jetting 3D printing and ceramic powder, it can make a cup in just a few hours—but also enables the fabrication of shapes and products with more complicated internal structures, such as jewelry, custom technical parts, and even bone substitute implants for medical use.
”This can democratize entry into the ceramic design industry,” Usov says. “We wanted to share our technology, so other could do it without our help.”
The new device utilizes technology Kwambio uses at its Odessa, Ukraine facility, Europe’s first specialized factory for 3D printing ceramics. The printer can create objects in more than 100 colors, using special proprietary powders, and can replicate matte, gloss, and opaque finishes. Kwambio claims the machine can lower the price of 3D-printed ceramics to 8 cents a square centimeter from the industry standard 12 to 15 cents.
The price tag for the machine, now available for pre-order, isn’t cheap, starting at $25,000.