Mar. 26, 2015 | By Simon

“Assembled by hand and crafted with love” is a saying that you might expect from an artisanal craftsman such as a metalsmith or shoemaker...however those are the exact words that are splashed across Dutch company VormVrij’s website.

The company - who we’ve reported on before on 3Ders (and here)- is focused on the intersection of clay and additive manufacturing.  For those unfamiliar, ceramic-based 3D printers are oftentimes very expensive compared to more traditional polymer-based 3D printers and can require a considerable amount of time and dedication to get everything working - including the recipe of the clay itself.  

Today, the company has announced that they have just released their new line of dual claystruder LUTUM 3D printers which start at €4655.

“We have already received several orders and are updating our facilities and website,” company founders Yao and Marlieke told 3Ders.

The lineup of printers, which will include a total of four models, make use of the dual claystruder to produce two colors or kinds of clay in a single print.  Additionally, the printer will be able to start and stop mid-print which will ultimately allow a 3D content creator to have even more flexibility in their designs.  


old school cable

3.6 Liter clay pressure tank

In total, the four printer models that the company is releasing include the LUTUM Original which features the base system with a continuous flow clay tank for €4655, the LUTUM UNO which will include a single extruder (1XL clay tank) for €4999, the LUTUM RapidPro which will include a double extruder (2 clay tanks) for €5500 and finally, the LUTUM MAX-XL which will include a double extruder and 2 XL and 1 normal clay tank for €5858.   

Specifications for the LUTUM Original include:

  • Printing material: Softened Clay (multiple varieties and colors)
  • Printer dimensions: 1040mm x 960mm x 1300mm
  • Build volume: 650mm x 700mm x 700mm
  • Print speed: 30mm/s for rounded parts or 15mm/s for cornered parts
  • Maximum print speed: 100mm/sec (3mm extrusion width and 1.5mm extrusion height)
  • Tolerance: X – 1mm, Y – 1mm, Z – 1mm 
  • Connectivity: USB or SD card
  • Firmware: Customized Marlin
  • Software: All open source – Slic3r, Pronterface, Repetier

Yao and Marlieke, who are both graduates from the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, both came from artistic backgrounds before creating a 3D printer manufacturing company.  While Marlieke was looking for new and innovative ways to produce ceramic designs, Yao’s experience in plastic-based desktop 3D printing led him to want to create faster ways of fabricating and with more materials.  

Perhaps one critical attribute of the clay-based 3D printers is that they are considerably faster than today’s existing desktop 3D printers.  While it can take hours to 3D print a simple flower vase on a FDM or SLA 3D printer, one of the LUTUM 3D printers can print one in a matter of minutes.  Not to mention, the fact that clay as a material is much more sustainable and if finished properly, can last much longer than plastic.  

The design team couldn’t have picked a better time to release the printer, either.  As other companies are looking into offering new material options - including 3D printing giant MakerBot - the LUTUM offers a near-seamless experience that is not only among the most affordable of its kind, but also allows for a wide amount of experimentation both in colors and materials.  The company is also working on a variety of add-ons that will be available for purchase that will further expand the capabilities of their 3D printers.  Already, these include preparation tools, custom software, different extruder types, air pressure systems and sculpting tools, among others.  

Although the €4655 cost of entry will likely turn many ‘curious buyers’ down, there is still a large market of professional artists and designers who have been waiting patiently for years for a product like this.

To find out more, head over to VormVrij.  


Posted in 3D Printers


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