Tag Archives: Vormvrij

VormVrij unveils a lineup of clay-based 3D printers

This large 3D clay printer is ideal for potters, digital artists and Makers.

Plastics, metals, woods and even chocolates are among some of the materials currently being used by 3D printers today. While they may be great mediums for rapid prototyping, they simply won’t suffice for artists and craftsmen looking to create elaborate things out of clay. That was until now. Thanks to the duo of Dutch inventors Yao and Marlieke, who together make up the startup VormVrij, DIYers will soon be able to fabricate ceramic pieces faster than ever before.


As we’ve previously covered on Bits & Pieces, VormVrij has been focused on using clay as an alternative to plastic filaments and debuted their first machine last fall. For those unfamiliar with this niche, typical ceramic printers can be a bit pricey when compared to more traditional polymer-based devices. Aside from that, these machines can require a considerable amount of time and attention to the recipe of the clay itself. Luckily, the startup has introduced a new process that is meant to replace the usual scenario where a sculptor creates a bust as the model sits or similar services where the model is scanned and printed.

The Netherlands-based duo has announced that they have released a new line of dual claystruder LUTUM 3D printers, which start at €4,655 ($5,065). Following in the footsteps of last year’s prototype, this family of devices all boast the same base and can print within a volume of at least 650mm x 700mm x 700mm. Yet, each of the four models possess varying extruder systems and clay tank sizes. The printers are all prepared for future updates as well, ranging from automatic nozzle cleaning systems to arm lights for better print vision.


In terms of the clay system, the storage and pressure vessels are comprised of high-pressure plastic with a transparent tube that enables users to easily check clay levels. The maximum working pressure is 5 Bar (72psi) and the vessels are equipped with a pressure dial to ensure consistency during a print job, a pressure relief valve for safety, and a quick-snap air hose connector on top. The vessels come in two different sizes, 3.5 liters and 8 liters, depending on the amount of clay needed for the job.

The LUTUM series was designed with ease-of-use in mind. That being said, the printers each feature a single press-dial system and a 128 x 64 LCD screen. This unit includes SD support for standalone printing, as well as a USB connection on its front-panel for a direct computer interface. As in their predecessor, the printers are all based on Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) and RAMPS 1.4.


Perhaps one critical attribute of the clay 3D printers is that they are considerably faster than any existing desktop machine. While it may take hours to devise a flower vase on a FDM or SLA 3D printer, for example, one of the LUTUM 3D printers can whip up one in a matter of minutes.

  • Printer size: 1040mm x 960mm x 1300mm
  • Print area: 650mm x700mm x 700mm
  • Print speed: 30mm/sec for rounded parts; 15mm/sec for cornered parts
  • Maximum print speed: 100mm/sec at 3mm extrusion width and 1.5mm extrusion height
  • Filament: Softened clay
  • Connectivity: USB, SD card
  • Software: All open-source, e.g. Slic3r, Pronterface and Repetier

Sound like something you’d like to have? Head over to the company’s official page to learn more.

This Arduino-based 3D printer uses clay to build ceramics

While a vast majority of 3D printers use materials such as plastic, metals and even wood to bring ideas life, a Dutch Design duo has introduced a machine capable of creating objects out of ceramic.


Powered by an Atmel based Arduino and Ramps 1.4, the printer is equipped with an SD slot and three 2A stepper motors. The structure of Vormvrij itself has been built with as many standard components as its creators could find, in order to reduce costs and leave plenty of room for improvements and modifications.

MAKE Magazine’s Cabe Atwell notes that given the machine’s rather large size, Vormvrij is capable of printing out items that are nearly 3-feet tall with a base of 23” x 31″.


While the speed of their printer is contingent upon the specific design and wetness of the clay being used, the device is still faster than other desktop 3D printers. For instance, simple designs like a ceramic bottle may take just under 20 minutes to construct, while more complex things like a vase can take up to an hour.

Users may find that the base itself is unusually heavy; however, it was designed this way to offset the weight of the clay and counteract the movements caused by the single Z-arm.

Interested in learning more about the Dutch Makers’ 3D printer? Head on over to their official website here. For those do-it-yourselfers out there, you can always build your own for less than $700.