How Promising are Additive Manufacturing Processes in Technical Ceramics?

The Austrian STEKA Werke Technical Ceramics has been dealing with 3D printing for about 10 years and they assume that certain additive shaping processes in the field of technical ceramics will experience a breakthrough by 2025. Let‘s take a closer look to the Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes in technical ceramics. 

In the age of digitalization, terms such as AM or 3D printing have also arrived in the world of technical ceramics. The Steka team is looking forward to working with their customers and partners to explore the possibilities of different manufacturing processes, which are now already very advanced, and in the mid-term ready to be implemented at Steka for series production:

• LDM Liquid Deposition Modeling
• Binder Jetting
• LCM Lithography based Ceramic Manufacturing

The top 3 AM processes in technical ceramics

LDM is by far the most favorable manufacturing process in the field of AM. Binder Jetting, like the LDM process, has visible layers and is therefore rather porous. However, very complex and large-scale structures can be produced, but these are less in demand in the field of technical ceramics. For particularly small parts, LCM process seems most likely to gain in importance for Steka‘s customers. In addition to the elaborate hardware, the costs for the respective suspension, which are specially produced for the respective ceramic materials, should not be underestimated.

The résumé

For Steka‘s customers, however, the most important advantages are those that only become apparent in the course of product development, namely when several partly different components can suddenly be combined into a single part, thus simplifying the procurement of different materials and components as well as the assembly processes quite considerably. For example, a component can contain an insulator, a heat sink, a mounting bracket, threaded holes, a strain relief and much more. The imagination in the design development process is thus given much more freedom. Finally, if something changes later in the design, only the 3D CAD file in STL format needs to be adjusted, there are no tooling costs.

The post on AM processes first appeared on Steka’s blog, click here to read the article in full:
The photos were kindly provided by Lithoz GmbH/AT.


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