During the "Ceramic Injection Moulding" (CIM) Seminar in December 2012 Dutch company Formatec Ceramics presented a 3D ceramic printer bases on the DLP technology.
Formatec Ceramics specializes in the development and manufacturing of technical ceramic products and components. Technical ceramics can be used for producing highly wear-resistant, temperature-resistant, biological- and chemical-resistant products.
In september 2012 Formatec started a thorough investigation on what 3D printing technology could mean for shaping ceramics. Soon Formatec recognized the added value of printing ceramics. It made a conclusion that the Digital Light Processing (DLP) was the best technology for 3D printing ceramics.
The DLP 3D printer exposes photopolymer filled with ceramic powder to light from a digital light processing (DLP) projector. The light hardens the mix materials and a layer of the object is therefore created. After every layer the Z-platform moves up and the lighting process for a new layer starts.
When the part is finished debinding and sintering will be applied. The 3D printed product is a combination of plastics and ceramics, similar to a injection moulded product. The DLP 3D technology can produce high-resolution products and outstands powder lasering when it come to surface quality and product tolerances.
(Images credit: Formatec)
The Formatec's DLP 3D printer is targeting for prototyping small high precision parts, or small scale series production. It is a relatively slow production process and has a limited product thickness +/- 2.5mm. In the coming 2013 Formatec will working on developing more materials and improving material characterization.
- Resolution: 40 um
- Layer thickness: 25 - 100 um
- Speed: 2.5 mm/h
- DLP Chip: 1980 x 1080 pixels
- Building platform: 76 x 43 mm
Posted in 3D Printers
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