Artist Matt Mitros at I.U.S. Ceramic Department - 3D Printer Technology
It takes a lot of skill and attention to be both a focused artist and teacher. Brian Harper, ceramic teacher at I.U.S., made this evident by bringing Matt Mitros to campus to work with students.
Matt Mitros demonstrates 3D printing at I.U.S. Ceramic Department
If you read our previous blog you know about Matt’s innovative art. Let’s now take a look at his presentation about ceramic 3D printing.
Matt began by demonstrating Rhinoceros, a 3D graphics and computer-aided design (CAD) application. Using this software, Matt designs objects and molds for objects in his art practice. He uses Rhino to operate a CNC router to carve molds from solid blocks of plaster.
that students learn best through hands-on involvement, Mitros
facilitated group design of a ceramic vessel using Potter Draw
software. Laughter ensued as students created a fanciful vessel on
Students create design for 3D printing using Potter Draw
Next, Matt shot the design to a program, called Slic3r, located on a computer attached to a 3D printer. Slicer programs put designs into layers; create codes that determine scale and wall thickness; and can design inside and outside walls of a pot differently. These aspects of 3D printing alone distinguish this technology from wheel-throwing, even hand building, with clay.
3D printer before attaching clay extruder
As Matt worked with the hand-made 3D printer that he brought to class, we were able to watch the pressure extruder, mounted on the printer, as it emitted clay through a nozzle to create a vessel and a honeycomb relief pattern that Matt uses in his sculpture.
Mitros operating the 3D printer
Students watching exruder in action
made the point that he works with printers in order to be innovative
with the technology and to add to the conceptual framework of his
sculpture. Furthermore, Matt loves textural qualities of clay that
physically show the process of creation. For example, he casts clay into
plaster molds and doesn’t remove the seam lines. He often produces
objects on printers that show each layer produced by the nozzle.
Cup extruded from 3D printer
a grand finale, Matt Mitros demonstrated a specific use of the printer
that he uses extensively: one object, such as a clay-printed toy, can be
attached directly on top of another, such as a clay-printed potato.
Bio Rad #13, 2017, mixed media, showing printed honeycomb pattern
It’s all about having fun with machines to create new ideas and new art objects.