ADMAFLEX Technology

What is ADMAFLEX?

ADMAFLEX is an additive manufacturing technology developed by ADMATEC in 2012 for precision 3D printing of fully dense technical ceramic parts. Using a DLP process, ADMATEC claims final part densities greater than 99% in Alumina and Zirconia, and an surface roughness (Ra) of 0.3mm in Alumina which opens it up for medical applications such as implants. An interesting feature of ADMATEC’s technology is their material reconditioning system, which collects excess resin, filters it and pumps it back into the reservoir and therefore minimises waste to practically zero. The technology was originally offered only as a 3D printing service but since 2016 has also been available for purchase with the ADMAFLEX 130 system.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Lowest priced AM system for technical ceramics
  • Small size build volume
  • Higher speed than laser stereolithography
  • No biomaterials available
  • High resolution
  • Similar to market leading Lithoz technology

Available ADMAFLEX 3D printers:

ADMATEC produces one commercially available machine capable of printing in ceramics, the ADMAFLEX 130 which has an effective building volume of 96 x 54 x 120 mm.

Model  ADMAFLEX 130
Manufacturer  ADMATEC
Price $150,000
Technology  ADMAFLEX (DLP stereolithography)
Materials ADMAPRINT Technical Ceramics – Alumin Oxide, Zirconium Oxide, Silicon Oxide
Effective Build Volume  96 x 54 x 120 mm
Layer Thickness  50 μm

You can find more information and the specifications for the machine here.

How does ADMAFLEX work?

ADMAFLEX uses a UV-sensitive resin filled with ceramic particles — available materials are Aluminium oxide (Alumina), Zirconium oxide (Zirconia), Silicon dioxide (Fused Silica) and Alumina Toughened Zirconia (ATZ) — which is distributed in an even layer across a foil. The foil is on a roll which allows for a continuous supply of printing material. Then using a DLP process, the build plate presses down on the resin, and a 405nm light source cures the desired layer shape from underneath — the process is repeated continuously building up layers of approximately 30-50 microns in height.

As with all ceramics AM technologies, there is considerable post-processing required. Following a water bath, the green part, still containing binder material, undergoes a de-binding process in an oven to remove the supporting polymers. As a final step, the now wholly ceramic part is sintered, fusing the atoms together,  to achieve full density. During the sintering process, the part shrinks by as much as 30% in the x, y and z-axes.

Further reading on ADMATEC and ADMAFLEX:

• Admatec to Showcase New ADMETALFLEX System for Metal AM at AMUG
• SmarTech Issues First Report on Traditional and Technical Ceramics AM
• Ceramics 3D Printing Leader 3DCeram Partners with 3D Matters to Enter UK Market
• Admatec to Showcase New ADMETALFLEX System for Metal AM at AMUG

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