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Metal/ceramic 3D printing

Posted by Andrew 
Metal/ceramic 3D printing
February 27, 2007 06:43PM
There's a company that uses metal and/or ceramic filled paste to 'print' objects, then a heat treatment drives off the paste. The article was very light on details and it sounds like the core technology is a trade secret:

Re: Metal/ceramic 3D printing
February 27, 2007 10:14PM
It's an interesting technique. It's not that far away from The Guy's idea of a UV setting material,here's the exerpt:
"Imagine that the first pass of "ink" squirts out a square line that contains a metallic powder. This square blob is immediately hardened by a quick blast of ultraviolet light. Then the EoPlex technology prints a second layer of fluid inside and around the four hardened lines.

This second fluid differs from the first. It does not have any metals inside. It has one purpose -- to create a flat surface upon which to print the next layer.

Thus, to build a box of any given height involves a repetition of these steps: lay down the next square layer of metal-bearing paste; harden it with ultraviolet light; fill and surround it with the next layer of empty goo; harden it up; and repeat until done."

A good point too is that the exact composition of the fluid is a trade secret, so, the composition must be somewhat easy or obvious to find...

Website of the company:
Re: Metal/ceramic 3D printing
March 01, 2007 12:10AM
I love reading the way you (well now us) guys think! So this thing turns out to be a mesh and it uses the second material as filler it seems. Is that needed for the rigidity, as opposed to a simple thin sheet?
Re: Metal/ceramic 3D printing
October 15, 2009 10:00AM
So what is the outcome of all these feedbacks? Is there a machine out there that can print ceramic using 3D printing?
Re: Metal/ceramic 3D printing
October 15, 2009 10:01AM
This is the question to ask. All the rest is not relevant.

I think the guys have no idea for this smart question...hot smiley
Re: Metal/ceramic 3D printing
October 15, 2009 10:24AM
I made some experiments with paste-dispensing and printing/sintering interchanging layers of ceramic and gold.

The ceramic-slurry was mixed from micron-sized ceramic powder and waterglass, the gold-paste was a mixture of eutectic gold-tinn-alloy spheres (30 microns, 80% Gold 20% Tin), 1 micron sized gold-dust and Dexpanthenol.

I presintered the layer with a 4Watt-diode-laser and cured the completed part at nearly 800 centigrades in an oven.

Other infos or any images aren't free eye rolling smiley

But at home i'm fiddling with a selfmade syringe-dispenser and pastes made from 100 micron glass-spheres and waterglass winking smiley

Re: Metal/ceramic 3D printing
October 15, 2009 06:04PM
Do a quick search for ceramics here and you'll find more discussions. Suspending ceramics in some hardening fluids is not something new. In the end its the same as the age old ceramics techniques but instead of fancy epoxy they use.... water winking smiley
The clay particles are suspended in water, this dries until it has sufficient strength to hold its green state shape. At last it is sintered, the material is fused and the last water evaporates. Standard shrinkage is around 15-20% (the water disappearing). The trick is the bonding in green state.
As to printing ceramics, think this group is pretty far in non-technical earthenware ceramics: [ceramicartsdaily.org]
Re: Metal/ceramic 3D printing
October 19, 2009 04:53PM
I'm currently running an experiment using something weird called geopolymers. Basically it appears to be alumina-silicates mixed with some other stuff to give it particular properties and then mix in a alkaline base. It works similarly to concrete, but from what I understand the concentrated base dissolves and distributes the aluminum and silicone into a gel matrix and then when its heated a bit, will polymerize into a plastic like substance.

Safe to say there is a lot I don't know about this stuff, but I have clay (back yard hole in the ground) and I have a concentrated alkaline base, (fire pit ash with water run through it to collect and condense the potassium hydroxide. Its lye for making soap normally) and so I thought I would give it a try.

I'll give an update if something good or bad happens.
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