Austria-based Lithoz, a spin-off of the Technical University of Vienna launched their CeraFab 7500 ceramic 3D printer capable to 3D print ceramics with high accuracy, fine detail and high density and strength.
Using Lithoz’s patented Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) process, the CeraFab 7500 is a complete system for the production of dense and precise high-performance ceramic parts. It is a flexible and durable plug & play network-printer which works completely independent from any other device. The LCM-process is based on the selective curing of a photosensitive resin which contains homogeneously dispersed ceramic particles. The Photopolymers act as binder between the ceramic particles and make the precise shaping and high densities of the green body. The centerpiece of the process is a specifically designed imaging system that enables the transfer of the layer information by means of the latest LED-technology. This imaging technique along with special projection optics allows the production of small structures and very fine details. Post-processing
In analogy to powder injection molding, the shaped form is produced as a green body that has to be further processed to obtain a completely dense ceramic part. These post-processing steps include the debinding and the subsequent sintering into a compact ceramic part. This procedure eventually results in parts consisting of 100% ceramic material which exhibit mechanical properties equal to conventionally fabricated parts.
The layer thickness varies between 25 microns and 100 microns depending on the components. CeraFab 7500 can print a two-centimeter object in approx. 800 layers with 25 microns layer thickness. The printing speed for such a 25 micron layer thickness structure is three millimeters per hour, depending on the component, the whole process takes about four to eight hours.
The CeraFab 7500 ceramic 3D printer uses the same ceramic material as the serial production. It guarantees the same properties for serial components and provides significant savings in costs and time. It can be used for the economic fabrication of ceramic prototypes and small scale series production. The price of the CeraFab 7500 is €220,000. “The CeraFab 7500 has been ready for shipment since summer this year and there are already some machines in the market.” says Dr. Homa. Specifications:
- Building envelope (X,Y,Z): 76 mm x 43 mm x 150 mm
- Slice thickness: 25 – 100 μm
- Building velocity: Up to 100 slices per hour
- Lateral resolution: 40 μm (635 dpi)
- Number of pixel (X, Y): 1920 x 1080
- Light source: LED
- Network-connection: Ethernet
- Data format: .stl (binary)
- Electrical requirements: AC 230 V / 50-60 Hz
- Machine size (X, Y, Z): 1,2 m x 0,6 m x 1,8 m
- Weight: Approx. 250 kg
High detail prints made on the CeraFab 7500.
All images copyright: Hans Ringhofer