Extrusion-based 3D printing of ceramic components

by Matthias Faes, Hans Valkenaers, Frederik Vogeler, Jozef Vleugels and Eleonora Ferraris


Engineering ceramics are becoming increasingly important in the nowadays-industrial landscape, thanks to the exceptional combination of good mechanical, thermal and  chemical properties. Nevertheless, traditional ceramic manufacturing technologies lack  the ability to compete in a market of customized complex components. Additive  Manufacturing therefore provides an important contribution, given the nearly unlimited design freedom. This research aims at developing an extrusion-based AM technology using UV-curable dispersions. The homogeneity, rheology and printability of these dispersions, containing 22,5%vol to 55%vol ZrO2 in different commercially available resins were investigated. A sintered density of 92% was obtained, proving the potential of the technology in development.

 1-minute pitch

            Paper presenter
Name: Matthias Faes
Organization: KU Leuven, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Email: matthias.faes@kuleuven.be

8 thoughts on “Extrusion-based 3D printing of ceramic components

    1. The main princinple of operation is shown in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uk_OvMxHyM
      I think this is the easiest way to explain.

      The ceramic dispersion is placed into the syringe. During the production, this UV-curable dispersion is irradiated using a matrix of power UV-leds. After one layer is deposited, the platform drops with a certain amount, and a next layer is deposited on top.

  1. To cure the resin an additional tempering step is added in your procedure. As this operation is quite time consuming, could you conceive some possible approaches to avoid this step?

    1. The additional tempering step is needed in order to polymerise the uncured resin in the produced samples, because this gives rise to cracks during firing.
      Complete polymerisation of the UV-resin in the dispersion was not feasible with the current set-up because of a non-optimal match of the wavelength of the UV-source and the polymerisation wavelength of the UV-resin. If we use a better suited UV-source, the resin can be cured during the printing, and the extra tempering step can be eliminated.

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