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The post thermal curing and polymer degradation at 3D-printed ceramic parts is studied in this Master thesis work.With the newly tailored slurry, consisting from the acrylate-monomer body and aluminium oxide particles, the heat treatment’s total time was reduced significantly compared to the commercial Lithoz Gmb H’s slurries.We’ve been tipped to a potential patent infringement in 3D printing, involving the popular Slic3r software tool.
Stereolithography uses photons to initiate polymerization reaction at monomer, oligomer or prepolymer solution.
In stereolithography, the ceramic powder is dispersed in monomer medium and polymer network is printed around the particles.
Another challenge is that of the nozzle itself; the nozzle in a three-axis motion system 3D printer does not itself tip, and thus there is a maximum angle of deposition determined from the angle of the nozzle’s shape itself. I encourage you to read his thesis, as it is quite enlightening.
Meanwhile, there is work taking place in the open source community to build non-planar functionality into a fork of the Slic3r software.
The overall processing time of the ceramic 3D-printing is long, even small component takes over a week to process.
This is because of the heat treatments that are necessary for the process takes long time.And that means taking into account the size of the moving nozzle and accompanying sensors, fans and other bits that could collide, which vary by machine.In some cases the object’s geometry could be pathological and not allow a smooth non-planar extrusion due to collisions.Ahlers brilliantly explains the issues in his Master’s thesis, and develops approaches to resolve them. In a fully-planar slicing scenario collisions are not possible because each layer is printed independently; layer 3 cannot collimate with anything on layer 2 or lower because it’s already higher and cannot go lower.But that guarantee is not present in a non-planar scenario, where, in theory, the extrusion action can be located anywhere in 3D space during the print.To polymerize the monomers, proper photoinitiators is added.Photoinitiator should be chosen according the photon wavelength that the SLA printer is using and the reaction type that it should initiate, radical initiators for acrylates and methacrylates and cationic initiators for epoxies.In this concept, the 3D model is not printed plane by plane.Instead the surfaces are analyzed and the 3D printer is directed to move along the path of the model’s surface geometry in an attempt to match the non-planar surface. However, it’s ridiculously complicated to design a slicing system that does so.Additive manufacturing has been found to be suitable processing method for ceramic materials in recent years.For other material groups, like plastics and metals, the 3D-printing is widely studied and the industrial markets are growing.