Clay printing


Has anoyone 3d clay printed something similar to this img?
How do I go on to model something like this for the printer to understand?

this looks like something thats not state of the art anymore. concrete pringing is going on a lot at architecture universities.

here just an example

what do you mean by how to model something like this? you mean getting comands for the printer or creating geometry to print ?

no I mean to simply model this in rhino before sending it of to the script /print stage. I am going to 3d clay print it.

The actual 3D model does not look like that - it has smooth sides. The printed part ends up looking like it does because the machine that printed it extrudes a lot of material - more than would be needed to accurately reflect the true shape of the 3D model. It’s like the difference between making it out of spaghetti compared to sewing thread.

It’s not exactly clear what the 3D model for that part looks like but my guess is you could make something similar by using a bunch of vertically stacked curve and then use them as control curves for a loft surface. Here’s something I made using that method:

just draw a couple of curves move them in the z axis and loft them? seems to be the easiest solution if you don’t need any special attributes or so? :rofl:
at least that would be my approach

haha true, however I need it to mimic the walls of the antelope canyon, any advice how I could make it a bit similar to this?

ah i saw your post earlier. let me just try something out quick

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maybe worth improving.3dm (357.0 KB)

so here is just my super quick test of curves and loft. but seems to get a similar result. you still have to keep going here and draw more and better curves but i think you will reach a result that makes you happy

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The clay prints are usually gcode. The model typically looks like just a curve path. The variations you get in thicknesses happen by the pressure and speed the clay is extruded out at specified times.

Can they also print concrete pillows?

for sure. you got back pain and need a valid solution ? :rofl:

Btw if you like this, check out Olivier van Herpt:


wow really nice
have done this my self with 5 axis robots and concrete. knowing how hard it is. this is very impressive
thanks for sharing this

Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s an adaption of ‘vase mode’ printing, using a custom printer for the clay.

you need to make a solid model, and in the printer settings you want the ‘vase mode’: a continuous line only doing the outside of the model. So this setting defines the wall thickness (only 1) and layer thickness in the slicing program. Your model just needs to be solid, without holes. Imagine taking a pencil and spiral along the contour upwards without lifting the pen

In addition to the other good advice on modeling, consider that your model will have to reflect the characteristics of the clay printer that you’re using. Some printers print fairly thin clay that cannot do overhangs of more than a few degrees without sagging and collapsing. Other printers have minimum nozzle thicknesses of up to 8mm or so.

Most cannot do variable extrusion thicknesses; if your extrusion width is 1.1mm, you can have 1.1, 2.2, 3.3, etc, but you cannot have 0.8mm or 1.5mm because lower flow rates just make the clay tear off in dotted lines, and higher rates crush the still-soft layer below. Vase mode on a solid model addresses this by guaranteeing a single extrusion wall, but you may need something thicker to support building at any height.

Ideally you’d know the extrusion characteristics of your printer and include that in your Grasshopper script. For instance, I use one parameter for “extrusion thickness” (1.1mm on my printer) and an integer parameter or rounded calculation to specify how many perimeters to draw.

Modern commercial printers like the Lutum or WASP LDM are capable of very repeatable, very exact lines at layer heights of <1mm, so you may need your model to reflect the organic shapes in the picture, or to have your slicing program capable of varying the extrusion rate over time to intentionally cause erratic textures.

Dont know if you all have seen this before but Jonathan Keep ( was very early adapting 3D-printing and clay extrusion. And this was a kickstarter campaign some time ago (if I remember correctly!).