The use of 3D printing in ceramics in the industrial sector
Additive manufacturing with ceramic 3D printing has launched a number of benefits and challenges.
In recent years, ceramics has come under the spotlight of 3D printing.
The predictions are excellent: IDTechEx has published a report: by 2032, the value of ceramic additive manufacturing will reach 400 million dollars.
Numerous scientific researches and industrial trials have demonstrated extraordinary applications and benefits.
The best performances of this material are in terms of mechanical and temperature resistance.
Applications of ceramic 3D printing
There are several methods for producing prototypes in ceramic material.
The most widely used technology is Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM): additive production based on a DLP photopolymerization process.
Ceramic 3D printing allows you to produce components with very complex geometries.
LCM is a proprietary additive manufacturing technology developed by Lithoz, based on a DLP photopolymerization process.
Thanks to the excellent properties, ceramics is used in numerous industrial fields, aerospace, medical, automotive and electronic.
Let’s take a deeper look at the different applications:
Expectations in this sector are very high.
To date, ceramic 3D printing satisfies numerous requests especially for unmanned vehicles.
In this sector, first of all it is essential to increase the performance of satellites, optical and measurement instruments.
Products must push performance boundaries and reduce development time.
The main advantage of using ceramic materials is the possibility of reducing the mass, weight and volume of equipment.
The fields most interested in the use of these technologies are: dental, orthopedic, maxillofacial and plastic surgery.
The materials used in ceramic 3D printing have optimal performance in terms of:
- osteoconductive capacity;
The highly specific mechanical, electrical, thermal and chemical properties find wide use in various industrial sectors: chemical, oil and gas, water treatment, electronics, automotive.
In the automotive sector, the production of brake discs, bearings, accessories for valves, coil bodies is very frequent.
Electrical insulation and ion conduction are the main characteristics of ceramic 3D printing: numerous cases for prototyping rigid supports for electronic devices, housings for components, parts for infrared emitters, induction coils.
Characteristics, process, performance and quality of ceramic molded in LCM
One of the main advantages of LCM technology is the construction process.
Finally with Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) it is possible to produce very complex geometries such as internal structures, cavities and undercuts.
Moreover, toolless production reduces development and production times as well as optimizing prototyping times and costs.
It is an extremely versatile material thanks to its excellent characteristics:
- Mechanical resistance thanks to the extreme hardness;
- Good electrical insulation characteristics;
- High wear resistance;
- Excellent biocompatibility;
- Smooth and shiny surface;
- Low thermal expansion;
- Resistance to acids and alkaline solutions;
- Resistance to very high temperatures over 1000°C;
- High accuracy (50 μm);
- Thin thicknesses up to 200 μm.
To date, the use of this process is concentrated in the production of prototypes or very small series.
The ceramic 3D printing process is suitable for all sinterable ceramic powders.
Ceramic prototypes possess exceptional characteristics in some cases better than the performance of metallic 3D printing.
We can make prototypes with special ceramic materials such as:
- Aluminia: it is the most common material among technical ceramics; the main characteristics are high hardness, corrosion resistance and temperature;
- Zirconia: high viscosity, low thermal conductivity; mechanically excellent flexural strength (> 1000 MPa), fracture toughness, abrasion resistance and thermal shock resistance; very suitable for applications in the medical and dental fields.
The main characteristics of this material in the diagram below.
To calculate times and costs it is always necessary to send us the 3D file.