The processing of ceramics in 3D printing takes place in several steps, since the material behaves differently in the building process than plastic. However, the end result is a high-precision object with the positive properties of the ceramic material.

To produce functional 3D objects from technical ceramics, the material goes through a multi-step process in lithography-based ceramic manufacturing (LCM). The ceramic powder in its dry state does not have a density sufficient for laser sintering. Therefore, the material is processed into a liquid ceramic monomer suspension (slurry). From this liquid, a so-called green body is built up layer by layer, which is cured with the aid of UV light. This is followed by debinding, a thermal treatment to remove the polymers at temperatures of up to 1,600 °C. The ceramic monomers are then cured with the aid of UV light. Finally, the ceramic particles are compacted during the actual sintering process.

Here you can learn more about the application areas of SLS.

Material with extreme resistance

The materials available for LCM are characterized by thermal and electrical insulation properties, as well as their high temperature resistance. The most commonly used material in ceramic 3D printing is aluminum oxide. It has a considerable degree of hardness and withstands temperatures up to 1600 °C.

Suitability for medicine due to biocompatibility

Bioresorbable materials such as tricalcium phosphate (TCP) are used in implantology and surgery. Since they can be processed into objects with bone-like structures in additive manufacturing, they promote the reconstruction of natural bone substance.