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The laboratory: Additive ceramics – designer cups from the 3D printer

The laboratory: Additive ceramics – designer cups from the 3D printer

3D printed products are trending: bicycle frames, houses and now coffee cups? Near Frankfurt am Main, the AdditiveCeramics team produces 3D ceramics from Westerwald clay. We tested the 3D printed designer cups in our office for their look, feel, stability and suitability for everyday use.

Additive ceramics hnkl_404 | tester: Jan Richter | Test duration 8 weeks | Price: cup €29, espresso cup €14 | Manufacturer’s website

Modern technology meets traditional craftsmanship: The two young designers and founders of AdditiveCeramics, Maurice Rigler and Lennard Wilde, are following a fascinating path with their ceramics studio in Offenbach near Frankfurt. The two creatives design 3D-printed everyday objects made of ceramic at the interface between traditional and innovative processes. The special thing about it is that the millennia-old craft of pottery is raised to a new level through machine production and the associated speed. In addition to the automated production process, the 3D printer enables shapes and styles that would not be possible using traditional methods.

Additive Ceramics Test Review WEB 0562Innovative looping: The 3D printer makes it possible.

The two founders therefore do not see themselves as competition to existing potteries: each product is designed in such a way that it could not be produced in a traditional way. Her focus is on aesthetics and minimalist design.

The cups, bowls and vases from AdditiveCeramics are made with a self-made ceramic printer, which enables unusual surface design: the numerous, very small clay loops could not be made by hand, or if one were to try, it would be a real Sisyphean task – and that Luckily, 3D printers haven’t learned to complain yet. As already mentioned: It’s not about displacing craftsmanship. The finished and fired clay is reworked by hand and glazed in the colors black, green, red and blue. The series is titled “hnkl_404”: hnkl stands for “Henkel” (Handle) and 404 for the web error code “404 Not Found”, which indicates missing content. So the name “hnkl_404” means “missing handle”.

Additive Ceramics Test Review WEB 0517Robust: Still looks good – even after countless runs in the dishwasher.
Additive Ceramics Test Review WEB 0317Designer shot: the stylish way to drink coffee.

But what – apart from the manufacturing process – makes the cups special? At first glance they look very unusual and are therefore ideal as conversation starters. The feel is also something completely new. The 3D printed texture feels comfortable and the cups fit comfortably in the hand. At first glance, you might think that the cups have heat-insulating properties due to the clay loops. But no: the loops do not offer any protection from the heat. If you fill a cup with hot tea, you will burn your fingers like any other cup without a handle and exposed to the sun.

Additive Ceramics Test Review WEB 0400Pleasant feel – but be careful: the cup can get really hot!

Tuning tip: Lemon Rooibos Iced Tea:
– 15 g Rooibos tea
– 250 ml hot water
– 10 ml honey
– ½ lemon
– 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
– Ice cubes

With the cups from the hnkl_404 tableware series, the young company AdditiveCeramics proves that fictional objects have arrived in modern times. The innovative 3D printing process enables a completely new design language and impresses with its minimalist design. Instead of uniform mass-produced goods, you get a small design object in your hand that makes coffee and tea taste a little better. At least that’s what we think.

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Table of Contents


  • unique shape
  • high processing quality

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Further information can be found at

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Words: Susanne Feddersen Photos: Jan Richter