Shapeways Adds Ceramic 3D Printing, Inspires Innovation in Home Décor

Shapeways, the online community and marketplace for personalized production using 3D printing, announced a new service for 3D printing in glazed ceramic. This is the first Shapeways material that is food safe, enabling designers and consumers to create personalized ceramic tableware, including, salt & pepper shakers, plates, mugs and more that actually can be used for eating and drinking. Additional applications include candle holders, soap dishes, figurines, decorative art and other home décor. An array of Shapeways’ unique, 3D printed, ceramic home items will be showcased at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), North America’s premier showcase for contemporary design, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City (booth #1451) May 14-17.

“Ceramic is not only a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing material, but it is also food safe, which opens up a whole new set of possibilities for our design community and consumers,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways CEO. “With ceramic 3D printing, now anyone can make storebought-quality ceramic home products based on their own design to suit their personal decorating style.”

Designer Gijs de Zwart, The Netherlands, a Shapeways community member and shop owner adds, “Ceramic has always been considered a valuable and durable material in many cultures and, therefore, it means a giant step for 3D printed products. After silver and polished SLS, this is the third material from Shapeways that can easily compete with other manufacturing methods in terms of surface finish, and will therefore be attractive to both designers and consumers.” De Zwart is known for his intricate egg cup designs and other home décor items that can be found in his Shapeways shop StudioGijs.

Shapeways’ new ceramic material is fired with a gloss finish and smooth to the touch. Generally, a 3D printed ceramic figurine will cost approximately $20; a mug, $50-70; a fruit bowl, $100-200; and a vase $40-400. (Pricing varies based on total surface area of raw material: $1.16 /in2 or $0.18/cm2). Suitable for larger 3D printed home décor products, the max build size for ceramics is 7.5 x 9.1 x 5.9 inches or 19 x 23 x 15 cm.

“The use of a warm and traditional material like ceramic highlights an object’s design and beauty,” said designer Vincent Greco, France, also a Shapeways community member and shop owner. “To the end consumer, a 3D printed ceramic object appears to be an ordinary ceramic object. The 3D printing becomes more of a mystery, the technology that enabled the design to come to life.” Vincent has tested 3D ceramic printing with his square mug design, Concave Cup. It can be found along with his other designs in his Shapeways shop, Magic’s designs.

How does ceramic 3D printing work? Layer by layer, binder is deposited on a bed of ceramic powder. Once all layers are printed, the object is put in an oven to dry and harden. The brittle, fragile object is then depowdered and fired in a kiln at high temperature. Finally, a glaze is applied and the object is fired again at a lower temperature, which makes it become shiny and smooth.

More information about Shapeways’ wide range of 3D printing materials can be found at:


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