Sep 30, 2014

Dutch startup Admatec Europe BV, a 3D printing company that develops a wide range of printing solutions for ceramics including material, machine and process, has announced that this month a total of four new 3D printers started operation at its facility in Moergestel, the Netherlands.

Founded in December '12 by Formatec, ECN and Innotech Europe, the company developed its ADMAFLEX technology based on the Digital Light Processing (DLP) from Formatec 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.

Admatec's ADMAFLEX technology focuses on breaking down limitations on precision, building size and building speed of 3D printers designed for the serie production of functional ceramic components. The ADMAFLEX technology prints with 5 to 10 mm p/hour and features resolution of 40 µm and layer thicknessof 25 - 100 µm.

Printing ceramics with Admaflex 2.0.

The new 3D printers utilize ADMAFLEX 2.0 which is an improved version of its ADMAFLEX technology. Improvements include machine stability, processing accuracy and a software update including new features to improve the overall accuracy. According to the company, with the ADMAFLEX 2.0 the printed ceramic parts will have a precision of +/- 0.3% of the final dimensions. Under specific circumstances this can even go to a greater precisions. Surface finishes have a Ra value of 1 micrometer (μm).

Michiel de Bruijcker Managing Director of ADMATEC said, "Over the past months Admatec pulled of a significant task by completing these printers. I truly believe ADMATEC does have the greatest capacity for printing functional ceramic more components in the world. This puts us in a unique position to prove that printing ceramics is a true manufacturing process that will change the way we think about shaping ceramics significantly."

Material recipe, in-house developed and in-house fabricated

The market is picking up the possibility of printing ceramics rapidly. One application is to build complex parts for the endoscopy market. Traditionally these parts are made with ceramic injection moulding technique. But with Admatec's technology, these endoscopy products can be printed in very short time. And more interestingly, since all the elements of the value chain are internally developed and controlled, it is more economic to 3D print large amount (for example 15,000 pieces) of these highly complex parts than the traditional methods.

"Significantly changing the way we think about shaping ceramics"

ADMATEC pointed out that specific target markets that will gain further attention in the coming period are two markets: microreactors and dental application. The benefits of printing ceramics for micro-reactors directly involves possibilities of printing complex structures and elimination of assembly steps. For printing dental solutions the degree of design freedom, printing speed and elimination of wasting materials is a great opportunity. Admatec will enter these markets with partners.

Posted in 3D Printers

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