“All I’m looking to get is prototypes made from actual material, not appearance models. I was hoping - at best - to get a contact of a shop that would do small runs and is willing to experiment a bit.”
if not engineered parts then make it yourself. local workshop maybe. get a positive from CAD. create plaster mold. use dental plaster for higher quality. slipcast and fire. or if its just revolves then cut templates and use a custom electric wheel. one with a swing arm for templates. did that in school for dinnerware. some used plaster for models. some used clay and fired in a kiln.
i also tried to make ceramic speakers. made a positive. made mold. rolled out clay and pressed it into the mold. no slipcast. but ceramic shrinks and warps when fired. didnt work. will try again some day.
earthenware is low-temp artsy and porous. stoneware is high-temp and production quality. advertise at art schools. senior ceramic majors could do this easy. and they need money.
that book is the don…realy helped me for a ceramics breif.
i made a SLA and then made a plaster mold from which i could slip cast…came out ok…i decied to clean up the dried clay rather than the SLA model as its far easyer, and if you screw it up you can allways cast off some more.
see some pics here (not a finished page…just upped the images)
mmm well as i did it through the uni facilitys the SLa cost me £90 and then i did the slip casting and the ceramic technition fired and glazed it for me.
i am not sure the cost of doing it all at a commercal rate, you could pretty much make the plaster mold at home…not overly tecnical…though depends on the model i guess, and maybe get a local firm to slip cast and fire your piece. There are a vast amounts of RP places that would be happy to give you a quote.
i think your goning to have to slit up your supplyers abit go to a rp get a model then take the model the cermaics place. Unless like you had your plastic mold cnc out…i am sure that would cost alot more though.
Not sure if this may work for what you’re trying to achieve, but McMaster Carr has a few liquid ceramic compounds that you can mold and fire–see below (kinda pricey though)
If you’re looking to do fine housewares stuff, check out “porcelain clay” as the medium… needs a higher temp. to fire than regular clays…
Ceramic Casting Alumina Compound: Alumina has excellent mechanical, thermal, and electrical insulation properties and provides the highest strength in castable ceramics. Porosity is 10%. Temperature range is -200°F to 3000°F. Flexural strength is 1800 psi. Dielectric strength is 200 volts/mil. Density is .10 lbs./cu.in. Compressive strength is 6000 psi.
Ceramic Casting Silica Compound: Offers high thermal shock resistance, low thermal expansion and conductivity, and excellent dimensional stability. Pot life is 20 minutes and cures at room temperature in 24 hours. Porosity is 10%. Temperature range is -200°F to 2700°F. Flexural strength is 1500 psi. Dielectric strength is 100 volts/mil. Density is .06 lbs./cu.in. Compressive strength is 6000 psi.
Ceramic Casting Silicon Carbide Compound: Has the highest thermal conductivity rating and resists oxidation. Porosity is 20%. Temperature range is -320°F to 2700°F. Flexural strength is 1500 psi. Dielectric strength is conductive. Density is .08 lbs./cu.in. Compressive strength is 6000 psi.
Ceramic Casting Zirconium Oxide Compound: Offers the highest temperature rating available in castable ceramics. Porosity is 10%. Temperature range is -200°F to 4000°F. Flexural strength is 1200 psi. Dielectric strength is conductive. Density is .14 lbs./cu.in. Compressive strength is 4000 psi.
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