Jun 22, 2018

Netherlands-based ceramic 3D printing specialist Vormvrij has unveiled LUTUM 4, its latest clay-extruding 3D printer. The first Prototype of the LUTUM v4 was showcased at Fabcon+RapidTech fair in Messe Erfurt early June.

Clay 3D printing, a unique area of the additive manufacturing landscape, has its champions and its critics. Most would agree that the technology provides an exciting new means for creating ceramic products, whether for artistic, design, or functional purposes, but many would also argue that the technology—due to the specific materials involved—lacks the kind of precision with which 3D printing tends to be associated.

With the new LUTUM 4 clay 3D printer, Dutch 3D printing company Vormvrij is making a big statement to allay the fears of clay 3D printing skeptics. At first glance not much changed since the v3, but looks can be deceiving. While the v3 had a build envelope of 43x42x44cm, the new LUTUM 4 clay 3D printer can print up to 51 cm on a print bed size of 43x46cm.

LUTUM v4 2018, LUTUM v3 2016, LUTUM v2 2014

All metal parts received structural updates and are built from custom designed Aluminium extrusions. The new LUTUM 4 has a new internal layout where the electronics are now nicely protected from dust and water deep inside the metal structure. This closed system also makes the LUTUM 4 far more effective in dusty, damp, or other less-than-ideal printing environments.

LUTUM v3.9 at Royal College of Art London

Another important upgrade found in the LUTUM 4 is the full metal body of the printer, while previous 3D printers were partially made from wood. The new model has a heavy and solid base structure balancing the printer, giving it full stability to print delicate objects.

Manifolds in black refractory clay

And that’s not all, the printer includes built-in air safety valves that stop the flow of air when the printer is turned off. It also features a large emergency stop button in case of calamities.

The final upgrade is found in the extruder. The v9 extruder is built out of solid 18/10 food safe stainless steel. Nozzle size goes from 0.6mm to 7mm and layer heights range between 0.5 and 2.5mm, depending on the chosen nozzle.

Old extruder and new 18/10 steel extruder

Normal speed is considered to range from 20mm/s to 100mm/s, depending on the viscosity of clay, specific object design, layer/nozzle size. Users can adjust the speed and extrusion rates while printing.

Adjusting and testing speed limits during the final printing process

Vormvrij has designed two types of clay cartridges which can be screwed directly onto the extruder.

640cc and 1400cc

As a result the LUTUM 4 can handle a broad range of clay or viscosities. Vormvrij had been working with Imerys to develop new porcelain clay types for this specific 3D printer.

All objects printed on the LUTUM 4 range of 3D clay printers

Check out the extreme detail in the shadow of the printed cube…

The 3D printer model has three varieties: The LUTUM v4, the v4 MXL which can print up to 80cm, and the v4 DUAL, a dual-extruders system that enable users to create multi-material or multi-color ceramic objects. The standard LUTUM v4 and MXL printers can be upgraded with a second extruder at any time.

LUTUM v4 line up, DUAL, MXL, Standard

Vormvrij has invited some customers—including Dutch Potters, Belgian artists and research centers-test a prototype version of the LUTUM v4. Some French, German, Portuguese and American Universities will also start using their new machines this summer.

3D clay printed “bronze” using patine on sculpted 3D print from a scanned boy

The price of the LUTUM v4 basic unit starts at €6350 excl. VAT, ex factory.

All in all, it seems as though the LUTUM ceramic 3D printer range is only becoming more professional and more potent with every new generation. Its stability and perfect extrusion of clay ensure that the LUTUM is an excellent addition to any (potter’s) workshop.

For more info, check out the VormVrij 3D website.



Posted in 3D Printer



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