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Ceramic 3D printing

The process

Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) is a multi-part additive manufacturing process for the construction of 3D objects made of technical ceramics. In the stereolithography process, a liquid suspension of fine-grained ceramic powder and a UV-sensitive monomer is built up layer by layer to form a green body which is cured by the irradiation with a UV laser. Subsequently, the green body undergoes a multi-stage thermal treatment at firing temperatures of up to 1,600 °C. The polymers used as binders are removed during the removal step. A final sintering process gives the component the high density typical of ceramics.

Advantages

  • High-precision components with a smooth, glossy surface
  • Resistance to acid, lye, and heat
  • High elastic modulus at high temperatures
  • Good electrical insulation properties
  • Gas-tight material
  • Versatile applications through biocompatibility
  • Profitable also for the production of individual parts thanks to tool-free production in the shortest possible time
  • Workpieces in series quality
  • Great design freedom in production

Materials

Ceramic objects feature excellent thermal and electrical insulation properties as well as a high temperature resistance. The LCM-technology is capable of producing high-precision 3D ceramic objects with a smooth surface and small components with high complexity.

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ALUMINUM OXIDE

Characteristics

The widely used aluminum oxide is characterized by extreme durability. With its exceptional hardness and resistance to high temperatures, the ceramic material can fulfill a variety of mechanical and chemical requirements.

Base color white
Price
10/10
Precision
10/10
Stability
6/10
Flexibility
0/10
Surface
10/10
Feel smooth

ZIRCONIUM OXIDE*

Characteristics

Because of its tough properties, zirconium oxide is also referred to as “ceramic steel.” This material also has a very low thermal conductivity. Through later alloying, for example with Y2O3, a variety of properties can be achieved for a wide range of applications. *Only available on request

Base color white
Price
10/10
Precision
10/10
Stability
6/10
Flexibility
0/10
Surface
10/10
Feel smooth

Ceramic 3d printing in the application

The LCM technology enables the additive production of technical ceramics of great stability and precision. Even tiny components with complex geometries can be formed in detail using the process. The objects produced directly from the 3D data have the same material properties as conventionally produced ceramic products, resulting in a wealth of possible applications.

Powerful metal replacement

Ceramic materials are on the rise today in many areas where metals have long been used. This is thanks both to the new technical possibilities and the positive properties of the material, which are appreciated by numerous industries. Worth mentioning are the excellent temperature resistance, good thermal and electrical insulation, and the high mechanical wear resistance.

Resistant to heat and mechanical stress

One common field of application is high-temperature technology, in which materials have to withstand temperatures well above 1,000 °C without distortion or fatigue. Technical ceramics are increasingly used even in modern vehicle and automotive engineering and support the trend towards lightweight construction thanks to its high degree of hardness at relatively low weight. Ceramic materials are also frequently used in medical technology. There is great potential in this field, in particular because of its food-grade quality and biocompatibility.

Adaptable material properties

The fact that high-performance ceramics play out their advantages where other materials reach their limits is also based on their manufacturing process. While the essential properties of most materials are already known before forming, the characteristics of ceramic components can still be significantly influenced during their production process – for example, by the targeted addition of dopants. The product with its final material properties is created only by sintering.

Function-oriented design

The constructive freedom in the additive manufacturing of ceramic components is virtually unlimited. Both functional prototypes, for example for initial product tests, as well as high-quality small series (rapid manufacturing) can be produced in high complexity. The design can be based primarily on the desired functionality of the product, since the limitations of conventional molding processes in the tool-free method are dispensed with.

Technical information

  • Wall thicknesses up to 4 mm
  • Components up to 61 mm x 34.5 mm x 117 mm can be produced in one piece
  • Pixel resolution of the green body 40 x 40 μ and 25 μ layer thickness
  • Ra value = 0.4
  • Tolerances: +/- 1%, min. 0.032 mm, max. 0.1 mm

Are your 3D files ready?

Just upload your data. All files are automatically checked and optimized for printing.


Do you have any questions?

We will be happy to advise you personally regarding your 3D project.