RACEMAN - Ceramics in 3D-printing: The material of the future
Technical ceramics possess outstanding material properties: they can withstand extreme temperatures, mechanical stress, and corrosive environments. No wonder that high performance ceramics are gaining more and more importance compared with materials such as metal and plastics.
The problem to date: producing high performance ceramic materials by conventional manufacturing methods is very expensive and time consuming. A challenge in times when product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter, and the trend towards individualization points more to unique pieces and small batches.
Moreover, the classic forming processes are limited when it comes to achievable complexity and precision, for small components in particular. This is the problem the project RACEMAN addresses.
3D-printer for high-performance
ceramics RACEMAN’s goal was to develop a 3D printer for high-performance ceramics, especially for single piece and small batch production. The resulting technology bears the name Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) and allows for tool-free manufacturing with low material consumption.
Already, a first material system for aluminum oxide - the most common high performance ceramic material – has been developed and is market mature. With the 3D printer CeraFab 7500, manufacturers of ceramic components can produce both operational prototypes as well as extremely sophisticated ceramic components with never before achieved material properties and qualities. The components produced with LCM technology demonstrate the same material properties as conventionally manufactured components.
The range of application is large: from mechanical and electrical engineering to aviation and aerospace through to medical engineering. Prototypes for research and industry can thus be produced quickly and inexpensively.
A best practice example: the Assistocor project at the Technical University Vienna and the Medical University Vienna has developed a pneumatically-operated intracardiac catheter. The complex components for the device were made using the LCM process – in over 15 designs!
Other Consortium Partners
- Emil Bröll GmbH & Co. KG
- Technical University Vienna, Institute of Material Technology