While we have been doing a few April fools pranks and jokes, the best April Fool happened TO US!    One of our favorite students, Charlie Wyman, has been diligently working on getting the parameters down for kiln casting  glass from direct 3D printed molds.

One of our pet glass projects is the creation of a RepRap with all cast glass parts (rather than plastic parts).    We’ve even shown an example of our efforts.

Yesterday, something happened during one of Charlie’s glass kiln runs that caused us to stop the run and put it on hold (at 1000 F or 540 C) until we diagnosed the problem.    We formulated a plan, and then we restarted the glass kiln run.

As always, we all go to the kiln upon entering the lab to check on “what’s cooking”.    This morning, I was the first person in the lab and, of course, I went to a look in the kiln.     #&@#$%%^@#@ came out of my mouth.    It looks like something went wrong.

I attended a couple of meetings and met with Charlie BEFORE he had taken a look.    Charlie had similar things to say.    Somehow we had started the wrong kiln program.   It turns out that we had run the glass molds through the stoneware program.    As we stood around like a couple of  “April Fools”, we started to really look at the result.

Our accident had created a material which was a glass ceramic composite that we have been discussing for a couple of years.  The Hydroperm actually absorbed the molten glass (it was wicked into the porous ceramic). It appears the molten glass dissolved the Hydroperm molds in several spots (look carefully).    Glass artists often say “Glass is really hungery as it likes to eat its way through most containers when it’s liquid!”  Looks like more work is ahead in determining some new parameters for this material.

Not exactly what we expected for an April Fool, but we like it!

12 Comments on An April Fool on us!

  1. Kevin says:

    This is fascinating. Some of the best scientific discoveries came from accidents like this. There is a great line of research here in discovering the properties of this material and how to properly control its’ creation.

  2. Kevin says:

    This is fascinating. Some of the best scientific discoveries came from accidents like this. There is a great line of research here in discovering the properties of this material and how to properly control its’ creation.

  3. Hi, I’m curious to know which type of glass you used and what was the kilning cycle ? What’s seem incredible is that molds don’t really crack and glass doesn’t go outside them. The porosity of 3d printing seems to be guilty, isn’t it ? Do you ever think about using boro-silicate glass ? We’ve cooked 😉 one that can be molted at 635°C. Do you think it can be usefull ?

    • ganter says:

      Philippe, We were using Spectrum Standard Furnace Nuggets (it is a glass that is used in furnace blowing and casting). I will be happy to check the kiln curve and post it. I know that it went to 2300F (1260C). In fact the molds did crack a little. The glass didn’t run out of the cracks but rather ran out in places were the glass dissolved the mold. Very little glass ran out (most of it was absorbed). Hydroperm is designed to be porous by USG but 3D printing it makes it even more porous. We are molding at 676C to 900C. We have not tried boro-silicate due to cost (Spectrum Nuggets cost about $0.80/lb or 1.08Eu / KG. Perhaps we would have interest. Is it a very fluid glass?

  4. Hi, I’m curious to know which type of glass you used and what was the kilning cycle ? What’s seem incredible is that molds don’t really crack and glass doesn’t go outside them. The porosity of 3d printing seems to be guilty, isn’t it ? Do you ever think about using boro-silicate glass ? We’ve cooked 😉 one that can be molted at 635°C. Do you think it can be usefull ?

    • ganter says:

      Philippe, We were using Spectrum Standard Furnace Nuggets (it is a glass that is used in furnace blowing and casting). I will be happy to check the kiln curve and post it. I know that it went to 2300F (1260C). In fact the molds did crack a little. The glass didn’t run out of the cracks but rather ran out in places were the glass dissolved the mold. Very little glass ran out (most of it was absorbed). Hydroperm is designed to be porous by USG but 3D printing it makes it even more porous. We are molding at 676C to 900C. We have not tried boro-silicate due to cost (Spectrum Nuggets cost about $0.80/lb or 1.08Eu / KG. Perhaps we would have interest. Is it a very fluid glass?

  5. This glass was specially made for cadmium colors. At 635°C, colors (red, orange and yellow) don’t turn opaque. Without this it’s very hard to have this kind of colors in kiln casting but I’m sure we can do the same with transparent one easily.
    I would like to advice you about avalaibility of lead crystal glass at http://www.gafferglass.com/technical/casting.htm
    This is the perfect glass for casting with low viscosity and low annealing and working points. More exepnsive but beautiful material. Less cold work also.
    Please go on, it’s incredibly interesting for glassworkers. I hope to have some good news on the week after meeting Formula team, which can developp Hydroperm twin for (poor) Europeans !

    • ganter says:

      Phillipe, For your information in the States, Hydroperm is about $1 / KG making it one of the less expensive 3D
      printing materials. Yes, we clearly understand that not all commercial materials are widely available at the
      same costs.

      We have only been playing in a very limited way with colors. From glassblowing, I know how difficult it is to
      get a good true transparent red.

  6. This glass was specially made for cadmium colors. At 635°C, colors (red, orange and yellow) don’t turn opaque. Without this it’s very hard to have this kind of colors in kiln casting but I’m sure we can do the same with transparent one easily.
    I would like to advice you about avalaibility of lead crystal glass at http://www.gafferglass.com/technical/casting.htm
    This is the perfect glass for casting with low viscosity and low annealing and working points. More exepnsive but beautiful material. Less cold work also.
    Please go on, it’s incredibly interesting for glassworkers. I hope to have some good news on the week after meeting Formula team, which can developp Hydroperm twin for (poor) Europeans !

    • ganter says:

      Phillipe, For your information in the States, Hydroperm is about $1 / KG making it one of the less expensive 3D
      printing materials. Yes, we clearly understand that not all commercial materials are widely available at the
      same costs.

      We have only been playing in a very limited way with colors. From glassblowing, I know how difficult it is to
      get a good true transparent red.

  7. […] (Work-in-progress)… We’ve been working at recreating the results of the April’s Fool by systematically testing various mixtures of ceramics, glasses and fluxes at a variety of […]

  8. […] (Work-in-progress)… We’ve been working at recreating the results of the April’s Fool by systematically testing various mixtures of ceramics, glasses and fluxes at a variety of […]

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