Proportions of water with the various types of dough

In the world of ceramics, the amount of water in a body is crucial to achieving successful results. This applies to both commercial doughs and hand-molded works. However, when it comes to 3D printing and ceramic materials, water proportions can vary greatly.

COMMERCIAL SLURRIES AND THEIR WATER CONTENT: Commercial slurries are usually designed for specific purposes and can vary considerably in their composition. However, they often have an amount of water that stands at between 15 and 18% by weight when it comes to clay. This percentage is suitable for purposes such as hand modeling and the creation of traditional ceramic works.

3D PRINTING SLURRIES: For 3D printing, the moisture needs of clay can differ significantly from traditional use. Evidence shows that, to achieve successful 3D printing, a water content by weight of around 26% for clay is ideal. This higher water content makes it easier to process the clay through the print head without it drying out and blocking during the extrusion process. This higher percentage of water helps to achieve a consistency suitable for 3D printing.

PERCENTAGE VARIABILITY FOR OTHER CERAMIC MATERIALS: It is important to note that ideal water percentages may vary for other ceramic materials. Each material has its own specific characteristics, such as grain size and density, which affect the amount of water required to achieve an appropriate dough consistency. Therefore, the proportions of water may be different for clay than for other ceramic materials such as piglet or stoneware.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TESTING AND CUSTOMIZATION: Given the level of variability in materials, 3D printing technology, and environmental conditions, our top recommendation is to manually experiment and evaluate the dough. This means mixing the material with water and adapting the amount of water according to your specific needs. It is crucial to carry out empirical tests to achieve the desired consistency before starting 3D printing