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.
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!