3D Printed Ceramic: the Next Big Thing?

3D Printed Ceramic: the Next Big Thing? image
April 29, 2016 | Source: Hermes Bozec, 3D Prinitng Industry

While everyone was celebrating New Year’s Eve, on the 1st of January 2016 a team of researchers at HRL Laboratories had other reasons to be joyful. They were just finalizing their process to 3D Print Ceramic. For more than 60 years, HRL’s scientists and engineers have been on the leading edge of technology, conducting pioneering research, providing real-world technology solutions, and advancing the state of the art. Out of their beautiful office in Malibu, California, the team at HLR has achieved a new milestone in 3D printing technology by demonstrating an approach to additively manufacture ceramics that overcomes the limits of traditional ceramic processing and enables high temperature, high strength ceramic components.HRL’s Senior Chemical Engineer Zak Eckel and Senior Chemist Dr. Chaoyin Zhou invented a resin formulation that can be 3D printed into parts of virtually any shape and size. The printed resin can then be fired, converting it into a high strength, fully dense ceramic. The resulting material can withstand ultrahigh temperatures in excess of 1700°C and exhibits strength ten times higher than similar materials.Temperature in the furnace needs to reach 1000°C. In the process the parts could shrink by about 30%. The ultraviolet light runs through a 3D Printer to make the object that will be fired in the furnace.