Developing methods to use 3D printers for creating imagery in kiln formed glass.

Comments: 116 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

Ozmar12 karma

Do you have some examples of stuff you have made? What is the largest project you worked on.

camerriman22 karma

Solitude Fused Glass • 4" x 6" x.5"

Most are small pieces. Currently designing a piece that will be created from 9 individual 3D prints. When finished, it will be 153cm (60 in) x 120cm (48 in)

jessthepumpkinking7 karma

How hard is it to combine colors together?

camerriman10 karma

Colors do present challenges as the saturation / opacity rate of change is different for each color. Colors don't mix like you would expect with other mediums. It's more like additive RGB vs CYMK.

Also, depending on the chemical / metal composition of the glass, there may even be a reaction between two colors that occurs when fired. All the glass that is used has been analyzed and documented to help when making color selections.

DPPfunsies6 karma

What is the single coolest thing you've made with your craft?

camerriman7 karma

This is one of my favorites. Small section of a larger image of bubble chamber collision tracks taken in the 1970s at Fermi Lab. This is made from only two colors of glass then backlit. 3D printer was used to create the mold.

Chamber Collision Tracks in Fused Glass

Levicorpyutani6 karma

What piece of work are you most proud of?

camerriman6 karma

The piece I am most proud of would be the Solitude piece referenced in an earlier post. This piece is currently at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA

Michelhandjello3 karma

The scale you are working is relatively small, is that a limitation of your kiln or a deliberate decision? Do you work with Bullseye or other glass suppliers?

camerriman6 karma

Working around the limitations of build plate size as well as kiln size at the moment. All of the glass I use is Bullseye Glass.

Kimril3 karma

Can you blow glass?

camerriman8 karma

No. This is kiln formed glass - or - warm glass.

ApostleThirteen3 karma

What are the molds made out of?

camerriman2 karma

The molds are made from 50% silica flour & 50% plaster.

beatnickclassic2 karma


camerriman5 karma

Yes - both the silica flour and powdered glass are inhalation hazards. Proper ventilation & respirator are required.

just_too_pretentious2 karma

What do you imagine would be the most complicated project to do? Would the picture be a certain color, contrast, complexity...?

camerriman5 karma

Most complicated would be imagery with fine detail. If 3D printers could print dots, it's rough equivalent would be 85 dpi with the printer I am using.

PirateMime2 karma

How long did it take for you to feel confident with the outcome of your glass? Just messing around compared to making gallery pieces.

camerriman4 karma

Fairly quickly as it's partly a mathematical solution.

Syndicate161 karma

What is the most challenging thing you have ever made? Also, what made you interested in this type of art?

camerriman1 karma

This piece Rose in Cottonwoods was probably the most challenging as it was one of the first pieces. This may be considered NSFW. I was looking for an alternative to conventional printing methods that use halftones.

Tkoz1 karma


camerriman1 karma

3D printing enables what I am doing. The method to make these without using additive manufacturing tools would be very labor intensive or if at all possible.

Thatonejoblady1 karma

Where does someone go to learn this? How much would it cost to do so ? What are the 'entry level' job prospects for this type of profession?

camerriman1 karma

Pilchuck Glass School will have workshops available next spring. I'm not sure what the cost for the workshop would be.

HouseMDfan1011 karma

Have you ever been badly burned working with glass?

camerriman1 karma

no - most of the hazards are related inhalation of powdered glass or silica flour. Respirators & ventilation are required.

ladsyadsy1 karma

I've been contemplating starting making glass paraphernalia after watching a few videos on youtube,

Could you please give me a brief run-down on the equipment I would need to get a modest home setup going and did you find the learning curve to be particularly steep when you first started?

MotoMoogly1 karma

im a pipe maker.

you're going to need a torch, regulators, flashback arrestors, and an oxygen and a propane tank just to get the torch running. the minimum torch id go with is a nortel redmax so you're looking at like $500 for that setup not including the tanks. an oxygen tank is like $200 and a propane tank is like $50. then you need tools. graphite reamer, graphite pad, graphite bowl push, tungsten pick, wire grabbers, graphite reamer, mashers, sets of tweezers, theres so many tools you can buy. youll need to spend a minimum of $250 on those probably. you also need a kiln, if you're going to be making pipes and bowls and stuff youll need a decent sized one. thats going to run you a MINIMUM of 600 dollars and you really cant get it done for that. id go with a new kiln for about $950. you need the kiln or you cant keep any of the things you make, they'll all crack. you also need it to bring the prep work glass up to tempurature and for a lot of other reasons. you'll need a front load kiln with a bead door so you can stick things in there easily without letting too much heat escape. You'll also need a fan for ventilation at the bare minimum. what most people do is use a grow light hood or an HVAC hood to put over their workspace and run the fan through that so its more concentrated. you dont want to breathe in the fumes from the glass or if you're silver fuming you DEFINTELY dont want to breathe that in so you NEED ventilation. you're also going to need lots and lots of glass. honestly the only way to get into this is to give it your all and do it as a full time career. unless you're a filthy rich dude, the overhead is way way way too expensive and its pretty hard to learn. as far as the learning curve, its only as steep as your teacher is good and your willpower is strong. i had an amazing teacher who explained everythign incredibly thoroughly and who was a very close personal friend of mine and i was able to work side by side with him for a month before going out on my own. i recommend you look around on fb and glass forums and try to meet someone who will take you on as an apprentice because thats the fastest way to get good. if you learn yourself take a couple of lessons and add glassblowers on fb so you can ask what you're doing wrong if you get stuck.

i sell most of my glass on fb and not to headshops so get up on the glass community in facebook and poke around for a few months before you get into it. pm me if you have any more questions and il ltry to answer everything i can. when i was getting started no one could easily answer all the questions i had.

camerriman3 karma

Thanks for answering the questions about hot glass. Something I know very little about. Thanks...

MotoMoogly1 karma

yeah man your work is very unique. never really seen anything like it!

camerriman1 karma

Thank you. It has been fun developing the method.

pawlywog1 karma

what COE of glass do you use? Have you ever thought of collaborating with other, more traditional glass artists?

camerriman3 karma

I've been using Bullseye Glass which they do not rate using COE. Collaboration in the future is a possibility.

pawlywog1 karma

Strange they don't rate it. I suppose it would only be compatible with itself then? How do you receive your stock? is it in tubes or rods? large chunks of cullet?

camerriman1 karma

Frit & sheet glass. Purchase online from Bullseye Glass as well as in person from Northwest Art Glass in Redmond, WA

pawlywog1 karma

is it primarily sold for the purpose you use it for? I've never even heard of this company until today haha.

camerriman2 karma

Bullseye Glass is primarily sold as art glass. I use their glass in a way that they were unfamiliar with - but not too different. In other words, I use existing kiln forming methods with molds developed from 3D prints. Not many artists (yet) using Additive Manufacturing tools such as CNC milling machines & 3D printers.

wert511 karma

You are supposed to post proof that you are who you say you are. Also a gallery of your work might be helpful since most people probably aren't that informed about what it is you do.

camerriman2 karma

[Here] is a link to more images (

Brown_Topher1 karma

I work for an arts based college in Canada and we have a spectacular glass-blowing program. I often wander over there during lunch just to watch them work on their stuff.

My question is: is it as entrancing/hypnotic to do as it is to watch?

camerriman1 karma

It's kind of tedious at times. Not as fun to watch as the glass blowing I must admit. Amphitheater not needed...

gcubed1 karma

Great work. Are you primarily printing molds to use with glass, or using class powders as a printing medium?

camerriman3 karma

I'm using PLA to print the mold positives. Glass is then fused into the refractory molds from the 3D print. I'm not using a fireable filament that contains glass similar to some of the new ceramic filaments.

The 3D print is expendable - it's used to replace traditional mold making materials within existing kiln forming methods.

Wee_littlegaffer1 karma

What got you into this field?

camerriman1 karma

I am transitioning from photography to kiln glass - bored with halftones and inkjet printers. Was just looking for an alternative.

Malkalack1 karma

How long does your average creation take to build?

camerriman1 karma

I plan on around 36 hours total kiln work, 8 to 12 hours to make a 3D print + mold. It can take several hours to do the actual glass work - filing the mold etc.

skywaterblue1 karma

Amazing! I am also an artist who works with 3D printers and glass. I see you are using a PLA lost wax process and I wonder if you've experimented with laying down glass powder in suspension or using multiple printheads to lay down powder colors.

Also, I'd love to know more about your setup. What printer, etc?

camerriman2 karma

The method I developed doesn't use the lost PLA method. I also do not use any wax in the process. Keeping things clean and free from contamination is needed to avoid burning stains into the glass. I haven't experimented with extruding filament with glass embedded in it.

The 3D printer is just used for part of the mold creation process.

My setup is pretty straight forward. I use a Ultimaker2 at the local makerspace. I'm investigating getting a TAZ with a flexydualy head so that I can print in SemiFlex and ABS/PLA. Slightly larger build plate. Square mm is more important than height as most prints are less than 10 mm high.

All the software to create these are Opensource -

Other than that, I use a small 120v Paragon kiln with all the rest of the stuff needed for kilncasting - tools, dams, investment material, and glass.

SchuylerL0 karma


camerriman2 karma

No - Bellingham, Washington.


How'd you get started?

Also, what's the best way you've found to keep the glass from breaking as it cools?

camerriman1 karma

I use an annealing schedule that cools the glass at a specific rate based on the thickness. The glass is held at 900F for a period of time, then stepped down to room temperature.