The idea behind Reprint Ceramics is to develop more circular options for the 3D clay printing industry and show that 'take - make - discard' is no longer an option.
'Reprint Ceramics' is a series of 3D printed lamps, parametrically designed, made from recycled ceramics. It combines the special 3D clay printing technique developed by Coudre Studio from Spain with the methodology for upcycling discarded household ceramics (Remake Ceramics) by Fabrique Publique from The Netherlands.
By using post-industrial and post-consumer ceramics' waste as a resource for making new high-quality products, the project shows that the use of waste can reduce supply chain costs, decrease the use of raw materials and improve the ecological footprint whilst making beautiful products.
The tactility, the look and feel, its organic structure, it all fits very well together. The lamps are really a showcase of both the material and the technique.
Printing with recycled ceramics has a positive impact on people and the planet since waste material is given a useful purpose. The waste material is put back into the production chain as a resource to be upcycled into new high-quality products. It also means less virgin material needs to be mined to make new ceramics' products.
By opening the possibility for consumers to give the product back once it breaks or is discarded, it can be upcycled into new products over and over again.
Fabrique Publique and Coudre not only love making beautiful products from waste materials, but also want to create a new mindset. Making people aware not to just throw their ceramics in the bin, but value the waste material and its application in high quality products.
REPRINT CERAMICS is actually the result of the combination of two innovative concepts: the 3D clay printing technique developed by Coudre and the re/upcycling method for ceramics by Fabrique Publique.
The Worth project brought the two together. The idea was planted at the Design week in Milan 2019, where Fabrique Publique met with one of the Worth representatives. Later on, Coudre and Fabrique Publique were introduced to each other and it immediately clicked, both professionally as well as personally.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT
The project was born out of the need to provide more circular options for the 3D clay printing industry. By using post-industrial and post-consumer ceramics’ waste as a resource for making new high-quality products, the project wants to show that the use of waste can reduce supply chain costs and improve the ecological footprint.
Moreover, during the project it became clear that the recycled clay provides further benefits, compared to regular clay, in the sense that it is stronger and more stable after second firing. The challenge of our project is the multi-tiered output that has to be achieved in a relatively short period of time.
This output consists of 4 pillars:
- a 3D printed lamp with recycled content;
- pre-made recycled clay packages;
- an open source knowledge platform;
- workshops and consultancy: how to print with our recipe.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
The final prototype of the lamp was developed after thorough research and a series of tests into the additives that were necessary to ensure the plasticity of the clay and perfect viscosity for extrusion with the 3D printer. After that we continued working on the designs.
At DDW20, we presented (digitally) our first tests with the 30 % of recycled material as well as some first draft designs.
The development of the recycled clay packages went hand in hand with the research and testing for the lamps.
Crucial to both the lamps and the clay packages was to find a solution for the supply of the discarded ceramics as well as for grinding it. Luckily, we were approached by Dutch thrift shops, who wanted to get rid of their ceramics’ waste materials and were looking for a co-operation with us. This means continuity in the supply of waste materials.
For the grinder, it is a bit more complicated. Right now, we are looking into the possibilities of buying a grinder in Breda, to start locally with grinding the materials and making the clay packages. This will be done with an atelier that works with people that have a distance to the labour market.
Funding for the grinder was provided by the commune of Breda.
We managed to find a good working relation even though the Corona crisis forced us to work together online instead of working together in the workshop. Every week we exchanged views and discussed next steps in the process. We really loved the interaction and being fortunate to take decisions as a group instead of individually.
Further, the fact that we were able to work so well together, enabled us to dive deeper and crystallise our ideas into real products.
We would start with a small-scale production. The lamps will be made to order, printed locally and recycled locally. In the beginning, the lamps will therefore be printed from our locations in Barcelona, for distribution in Spain/Portugal, and in Breda, for other countries.
If this is successful, co-operation will be sought with 3D clay printers in other EU countries to print the lamps locally there with local clay and local recycling.
For us its clear, we would not have been able to develop this project without the input of the other partner and without the support of the Worth Partnership.