The second industrial revolution heralded the mechanization and automation of the mass production of ceramic parts, focusing in low-cost production. China became the workshop of the world, making it much more difficult to manufacture products that are not made in mass quantities. This approach runs contrary to the natural path of innovation… What ceramic users can do if they don’t have the capacity to invest in costly production machine tools to test an idea? Ceramic 3D printing helps to get back to fabricating internaly. Today, this technology looks like a new ceramic industrial revolution.
The ceramics industry is currently experiencing newfound freedom and creativity, thanks to the rapid development of 3D printing that is no longer limited to prototype production: it has become a significant production tool for mass customization. 3D printing forms a close fit with other conventional manufacturing technologies and makes ceramics more accessible, by cutting development times and simplifying the production process (no tooling).
A 3D printer dedicated to ceramics has been developed that uses laser technology. Laser stereolithography (SLA) has emerged as the best solution for the fabrication of dense ceramics with very good resolution. The parts made with that printer have the same characteristics as ceramic parts produced using traditional technologies (dry pressing or injection). A relatively broad range of ceramic pastes, which are made of 80% ceramic powder and 20% resin, is available to meet manufacturers’ needs, including alumina, zirconia, hydroxyapatite, etc. Ceramists have all the cards in hand to explore the possibilities offered by this technology.
Case studies (Luxury and biomedical industries) will help to understand all the benefits (and limits) of the technology.
About Richard Gaignon
Richard Gaignon graduated from ENSCI ceramic engineer school and HEC executive MBA. He is former Chief Executive Officer and Director of Business at Ceric (engineering). Richard Gaignon is co-president of 3DCeram company.
3DCeram brings together a combination of expert skills that is unparalleled in the fields of materials and processes dedicated to the rapid forming of complex-architecture ceramic objects.
The company capitalizes on the many possibilities offered by laser stereolithography applied to ceramics, a proprietary technology. 3DCeram developed a full range of services to support you in your technologically challenging projects, from the selection of the type of ceramic, specifications definition (expression of needs), R&D and the fine tuning of the part, through to industrial series production.
This technology significantly reduces the development time of a product: its responds are particularly well suited to companies that need prototypes or production runs with short lead times.