A Rapid Prototyping Apparatus for Forming Ceramic Parts
This article proposes a rapid prototyping apparatus of selective laser sintering for forming silica ceramic green parts. The main differences between the proposed and other RP processes for forming ceramic part are the slurry material used to obtain fine layer thickness and the capability of constructing support structure to increase the dimensional accuracy of the workpiece having an overhang. The RP apparatus developed by us comprises a laser scanning system, a material paving system, and a computer control system. A CO2 laser is adopted to scan over a mixture made of a silica sol and silica powder. The silica sol acts as a binder to gel the silica powder together, which forms a 3D object using laser gelation method. A series of experiments were carried out to obtain the optimal process parameters. An SEM is employed to analyze the microstructure of the ceramic part. It has been found that the smallest layer is of 100 μm thick. The results show that both the accuracy of the material paving mechanism and the optimal process parameters can fulfill the requirements of the RP processes.
Guo Fan JIN, Wing Bun LEE, Chi Fai CHEUNG and Suet TO
F. H. Liu and Y. S. Liao, "A Rapid Prototyping Apparatus for Forming Ceramic Parts", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 364-366, pp. 383-388, 2008