A Crash Course in Clay 3D Printing


 Image: @WASP3d

A Crash Course in Clay 3D Printing

If you've run into 3D printed clay in the past you've probably seen the term LDM - Liquid Deposition Modeling. The most common material of this category is clay, however materials such as food, wax and earth are considered LDM. LDM printing follows the same rules as FDM with one large difference - no heat while extruding.
3D Printing with clay has a similar structure to wheel throwing when broken down. Water is added to clay to make it more malleable. A ceramicist's hands center the clay in the middle of the build plate, while a 3D printer reads gcode to determine its center point. In both wheel throwing and 3D printing, a form is created by stacking one layer of clay on top of the next. Timing, gravity and weight have a heavy hand in what is possible to create, however, for some, the real fun lays in the challenge of pushing those boundaries.
Traditional ceramics has been used to creating pots, dinning wear and artwork, while the same clay bodies are used to create houses and structures. 3D printing still embodies these ideas. Smaller printers are commonly used in a more traditional sense to create pots and works of art, while larger printers have the ability to print homes from locally sourced clays. WASP is one of the leaders in 3D printing. Their printers are used around the world for the development of sustainable building, material research, art and design exhibitions and industrial manufacturing. WASP's variety of printers has supported its clientele by developing a printer for everyone and every need.


With its name deriving from its dimensions the DELTA WASP 2040 Clay is WASP's most compact LDM printer. The 200 x 400 mm build volume makes it prefect for K-12 classrooms, ceramic studios. architectural pro-typing and more.
For those who know of or have worked with WASP before, the name 2040 will sound familiar. WASP's line of 2040 FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printers are well known and used throughout 3D printing communities. For this reason, WASP create a Clay Kit.


Rather than purchasing a whole new printer, WASP developed a Clay Kit; an add on that turns an FDM printer to LDM. This complete kit includes an LDM extruder, tank, parts and tools necessary for research, development and creating using LDM materials.


Delta WASP 40100 Clay takes LDM to the next level. The XL LDM extruder allows for larger nozzle sizes and thus, larger prints. To accommodate larger prints WASP designed the 40100 with the ability to print directly onto the floor. Rather than waiting for your print to dry or risk moving a large print too soon, simply print directly on the floor and move the printer to continue printing with no wait time to impact production.


WASPs industrial size 3D printer - compatible with both clay and concrete and a print volume of 1 meter x 1 meter. Use an XL extruder to print even larger designs with clay on the 3MT LDM or upgrade to an XXL extruder with Continuous Feeding System to complete your 3MT Concrete!
Images: 2040 Clay, 40100 Clay, 3MT Concrete @WASP3d


In 2018 WASP introduced Crane, the 3rd iteration of large scale printing dating back to 2014. With its nickname, the infinite 3D printer, Crane brings 3D printing, architecture and sustainable building to a whole new level with its 6.3 meter x 3 meter dimensions and modular configuration to adjust to its print and expand as needed.
LDM printing has been creating big waves in architecture, design and sustainable housing for some time now and only continues to grow larger and larger as technology advances. WASPs devotion to affordable and sustainable housing is what truly puts LDM printing on the map!
"Our planets resources aren't sufficient for the current demographic explosion, so we need to change our development models. WASP Project studies, realizes and sponsors eco-friendly systems. Once everyone is able to build what they imagine, propriety and poverty will belong to the past. " -WASP
Author: Emma Herrmann, LDM Manager of WASP USA

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