Free Form Fabrication of 3D-Ceramic Parts with InkJet-Printing
A rapid manufacturing method for fabrication of 3D ceramic parts will be presented. The structural information is printed by ink jet in powder layers of 80 µm thickness. Different granulated powders can be used, such as zirconia and alumina if they show good flow ability. After printing the structures a heating process takes place. After these the parts can be picked out from the powder bed. The manufactured parts can be impregnated with epoxy. Another option is the infiltration with ceramic slurries and glass with sintering to higher density. The sintering process has been studied and the shrinkage and material properties evaluated. The interrelationship between the raw material qualities, infiltration media and the sinter parameters as well as the material-specific properties such as density and stability will be presented. The manufacturing method is used for fabrication of moulds and cores for casting processes. Otherwise the process can be used for fast fabrication of models and prototypes. The possibilities to use these methods for implant manufacturing will be shown. A cost analysis has been performed comparing direct manufacturing of small batches of components to mould injection processes.
U. Kaufmann et al., "Free Form Fabrication of 3D-Ceramic Parts with InkJet-Printing", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 45, pp. 720-725, 2006