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Preparing Clay for First Coral Print

Preparing Clay for First Coral Print

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We are moving closer to getting our 3D printed coral habitat project rolling. The 3D printer that we are going to be using is able to print with a clay material instead of traditional plastic filament so we can be sure not to harm the water by putting more plastic in the oceans.

The clay needs to be soft and malleable so that it can be pushed through the printer and out of the nozzle so we are experimenting with a few different ratios for the mix. We are testing out the use of ethanol in the mixture to help it become more printable.

We have to mix the clay and measure out the water and ethanol that need to be added to it and then mix everything up so that it has an even consistency. We then pack the wet clay into special tubes that are used with the 3D printer. These tubes act like a cartridge that supplies the clay for the printer.

After we print these pieces, we will need to fire them in our kiln that we are currently building right now. If everything goes well, then we should be printing coral habitats and planting coral gardens very soon. This project is very important to us so we are very excited to see the first test samples come out of the 3D printer!

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