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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.


Case Study


The first designs were based on 80x80x80mm cubes, with other dimensions introduced later 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 process. The splines were constructed considering curve analysis to guarantee a smooth trajectory of the printing path.

From printing to glazing

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.

To glaze or color ceramic is a science in itself. The range of colors and glaze types is huge, and the way appliances are made can make a big difference. The 3D printing process adds surface elements that directly affect 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.