Greetings! The Top 3D Shop team is glad to provide you with another detailed overview of some of the cutting-edge additive manufacturing solutions. This time, the spotlight is taken by WASP 40100 Clay XL, a truly unique 3D-printing machine that features an LDM-extruder, providing an option for highly detailed ceramic 3D-printing. In essence, the machine is a modified version of WASP Clay with a peculiar LDM WASP Extruder XL that allows to quickly manufacture large, human-scale products using only ceramic and dense fluid materials. Would you like to know more?
WASP stands for World's Advanced Saving Project. The company was founded in 2012 by Massimo Moretti, an electronic technician with more than 20 years of experience in open-source product development. WASP is a bold experiment where science, economy, and politics are intertwined in order to add economic value to useful knowledge, reinforce social responsibility, and establish equal opportunities for everyone.
WASP is researching social development and growth models in order to create and apply a renewed one, where quality life without poverty would be accessible for everyone, and all the monopolization would be eliminated. The team believes that every living soul has an inalienable right for residential property and aims to provide housing for even the poorest ones by building eco-friendly houses with ‘zero-mile’ local materials, while also employing additive manufacturing technologies.
The revenue obtained from the selling of 3D-printing machines will be invested in projects that aim to integrate advanced technologies all over the world and make them accessible to everyone. WASP aims to create an era of economic prosperity by establishing equal opportunities and releasing the potential of every human’s creative capabilities.
"We're not so crazy to think we can save the world, but we're crazy enough to work for it." — Massimo Moretti, the CEO of WASP.
WASP offers 3D-printers of different configurations that are divided into families according to their application area:
Delta WASP 40100 is considered to be a brand-new product in Delta lineup. Controlled by Arduino, the device is able to print with porcelain, various ceramic mixtures, clay, refractory materials, and many others. Featuring ‘Resurrection’ and ‘Free Zed’ systems, the printer is able to resume the printing process right where it stopped or at a user-chosen point, if interrupted by a sudden blackout or similar cause.
By using Delta WASP 40100 Clay, you can print directly on the floor if the height of your object is less than 60 cm (3 ft). Another option is to use a removable printing steel surface at the same height, however, the printing volume will be lessened to 400 x 450 mm (16 x 18 in.) in this case. One more feature is a continuous printing process — you can simply move the device to keep on printing, while not having to wait for the object to dry out. If the 5L (1.3 gal) material supply tank is topped up, an operation time of one and half an hour is guaranteed while printing with a 4 mm extruder.
Liquid Deposition Modeling (LDM) is the name of WASP’s proprietary technology used with extruders of ceramic materials. One of its undeniable advantages is that the technology can be easily adapted for most 3D-printers currently available on the market. WASP has always strived for developing optimal solutions for digital 3D-printing systems that use ceramics (including polymeric and zirconium), clay, porcelain, and alumina as the main material. And after two years of looking for optimal combinations and experimenting with different variables such as pressure, nozzle adjustments, and material selection, WASP has been finally able to create an outstanding extruder model with the ability to abort and restart the extrusion of such peculiar materials in an elegant and accurate fashion.
The LDM WASP extruder is represented by a pneumatic system combined with screw extruder and pressure extruder, allowing to print precise and dimensionally accurate ceramic objects in a fashion close to that of polymer filament extruders. Thanks to this technology, it’s very easy to control and adjust the material flow. You can also pause the printing process and continue later by using retraction — under normal circumstances, the product will come out without any flaws whatsoever. Moreover, the innovative outward pressure multiplier with a 40 bar (580 psi) limit located in the screw extruder will eliminate all the air bubbles appearing in the mixture.
WASP Clay is supplied with a 3L (0.8 gal) tank which can be replaced with a 5L (1 gal) one on demand. The tank can be easily refilled or cleaned by opening two caps located on the top. Inside the container, the piston with two gaskets creates the pressure of 4 bar (58 psi) and pushes the material down the 12 mm (0.5 in.) teflon pipe that supplies the extruder. On the back of the tank, there is another cap with a safety valve set at 8 bar (116 psi).
The device is made of aluminum and steel, ensuring stability and accuracy even when printing with exceptionally dense materials. The configuration features a minimum layer height of 500 µm and provides the maximum printing speed of 150 mm/s. The standard nozzle diameter is 1.2 mm and 2 mm, which can be altered to 2, 4, 6, and 8 mm if LDM WASP Extruder XL is employed.
Delta WASP 40100 Clay is supplied with the following items:
LDM WASP extruder with two stainless steel nozzles; 1.2 mm and 2 mm in diameter;
5L (1.3 gal) storage tank;
waterproof printing bed made of multilayered wood;
10 kg (22 lb) of porcelain.
Additional options for Delta WASP 40100 Clay include:
Interchangeable stainless steel nozzles with a diameter of 1.2, 2, 4, 6, and 8 mm respectively;
Teflon screw for the extruder;
Material storage tank; options with up to 15 L (4 gal) volume capacity.
Cura is one of the most popular 3D-printing slicing software solutions. Even though it is currently owned by Ultimaker, the platform remains open-source and can be accessed with LGPLv3 license. This means that Cura is free to use, all the future updates included. The main advantage is that this software provides a lot of possibilities that help to simulate and optimize the printing process. Cura is also known for its large community which creates and maintains a great deal of useful plugins intended to improve and expand the program’s functionality.
Slic3r is another great software solution that’s also free to use. It features advanced configuration settings, an option for simultaneous printing on separate devices, infill optimization, and several options to preview the printing process. Slic3r is extremely optimized, providing fast and convenient workflow on almost any machine.
Simplify3D is popular 3D-printing software that, among many other advantages, transforms digital models into instructions your printer understands best. The program features a two-week trial, allowing to return the software for a full refund if it didn’t meet the user expectations. For its main advantages, Simplify3D is compatible with almost any 3D-printer including the most exotic ones, featuring a user-friendly interface and manual optimization of support structures.
Andrea Salvatori is a virtuoso of contemporary ceramic art. Envisioning and shaping Italian informalism and abstractionism, the master presented a number of various ikebana vases during his personal «Ikebana Rock'n'Roll» exhibition held in New York from April to May 2019. Every piece of art was printed with Delta WASP 40100 Clay.
Andrea explains: “The search for balance between all the elements also passes through the container. There are numerous schools of Ikebana and each one opts for a particular arrangement. Some use tall vases and vertical lines, others use shallow containers. I decided to add digital technologies into the mix.”
Salvatori created a number of asymmetrical masterpieces for the exhibition. The vases were incrustated with pink-colored spheres of various shades that represent musical notes, highlighting Eastern spirituality and the calmness of nature combined. In order to create compositions of astonishing beauty, the artist uses flowers, branches and other natural elements.
Jonathan creates his masterpieces in his own workshop located in Suffolk, the UK. For some of the country colleges, he enlightens the students on how to apply digital technologies in the field of art while giving insightful lectures and consultations.
Jonathan highlights: “My ceramics are recognisable for a strong sculptural quality with an emphasis on form. An opportunity ten years ago to investigate digital media highlighted for me the possibilities of using computers to extend and explore our understanding of natural systems, patterns and codes. I have developed a working process whereby the shapes of my forms are written in computer code. This digital information is passed to a studio based self built 3D printer that I have adapted to print in clay. Layer by layer the pots are printed out – a sort of mechanical pottery coil building. After printing the ceramic is fired and glaze in the normal way. In the elemental forces of earth, fire and water ceramics has traditionally drawn on nature for inspiration, but in using computer code to create my works I have added a further layer to include the elemental mathematical patterns and structures that underlie all form. The appreciation of these works I hope illustrates just how much we are connected at a very deep level to the natural world.”
The School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University, Finland, held a two-day international workshop dedicated to collaborative learning of ceramic 3D-printing technique at February 2019. The printing machine, Delta WASP 40100 Clay arrived only a couple of days prior to the workshop’s beginning, and was tested by the participants for the first time during the event. Manuel Fonseca Martinez was appointed as the workshop master — he made a terrific job of holding the event and clarifying everything related to the 3D-printing processes.
The workshop was an integral part of “Ceramics and its Dimensions: Shaping the Future”, a significant exhibition held across the Europe. Professor Urmas Puhkan from the Estonian Academy of Arts, for example, provided a meaningful insight on the workflow of projects which featured 3D-printed ceramic works and were executed by the academy.
We wholeheartedly believe that WASP is not just an ordinary manufacturer of original and high-quality 3D-printers. It is something much, much more. WASP is an integral philosophy that determines the border between dreams and pragmatics. It is an impulse dedicated to make the world a better place by means of technical progress that facilitates the removal of social borders. By acquiring such a unique 3D-printing machine, you won’t just broaden the horizons for your art and handicraft. You’ll also have a precious opportunity to shape the new manufacturing concept and contribute to the prosperity of humankind.