Inspired by the Savoy vases designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto, the Otlaa family consists of several objects to hold and present dried plants. The utilization of a ceramic 3D printer adds interesting implications in terms of altered repeatability in production and individuality by the nature of the used ceramic material. The result is a minimal yet complex embellishment which will enhance and enrich any living space.

The first designs were based on 80 x 80 x 80x mm cubes, with other dimensions introduced later on to create a family of objects. The forms contain various folded shapes that are slightly angled, so they can hold plants, leaves or other natural specimens. The designs can only be produced through an additive manufacturing processes. The splines were constructed considering curve analysis to guarantee a smooth trajectory of the printing path.

Printing process

To print a model takes around 45 min and uses the whole material capacity of the printer (300 cc). The processes of printing, drying and firing produce deformations that charge the pieces with certain irregularities and individuality. The used material is porcelain.

Glazing & Colouring

To glaze/color ceramic is a science in itself. The ranges of colors and glaze types is huge, and also the way of appliance can make a big difference. The 3D printing process adds surface elements that influences directly the appearance of coloring. We experimented with dipping, spraying and painting of glazes, as well as directly coloring the porcelain and dipping the pieces in liquid rubber.


Overview of the samples we created so far. In principle a parametric system in combination with the 3D printing process would allow for endless possible designs, especially when considering all glazing options.