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iLaser introduces CeraBuilder 3000P for high viscosity slurry ceramic AM

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Yin Tailai 3D laser, also known as Intellite Laser or iLaser, launched the CeraBuilder 3000P, a new large-format ceramic printer for printing high viscosity ceramic materials.

The use of 3D printers to produce ceramic parts is growing rapidly in China. Mainstream ceramic 3D printers are based on light curing technology, which prepares ceramic paste for printing by mixing ceramic powder with photosensitive resins. The light-curing process requires a higher fluidity of the ceramic slurry, and slurries with low viscosity and good fluidity are easier to scrape, replenish and print. But it also means that the ceramic solid content in the slurry is low, and shrinkage rates are more significant during the sintering process.

CeraBuilder 3000P for slurry and paste ceramic AM
The CeraBuilder 3000P

In order to address these issues on high-viscosity ceramic materials, iLaser has launched the new large-format ceramic CeraBuilder 3000P 3D printer, with a build volume of 300x300x150 mm.

The main feature of this new 3D printer is that it can print high-viscosity (≥10Pa?S) ceramic materials that have no fluidity at room temperature. The material types include alumina, zirconia, hydroxyapatite, tricalcium phosphate, silica, silicon nitride and more.

Compared with low-viscosity ceramic 3D printing materials, high-viscosity ceramic 3D printing materials ceramic materials can achieve higher ceramic solid content (alumina mass fraction can be achieved above 85%). In addition, the material retains its shape during laying, which helps to reduce the need of supports. In addition, non-contact profiling support technology can also be used to facilitate precise size control.

CeraBuilder 3000P for slurry and paste ceramic AM
Comparison of low-viscosity ceramic materials (left picture) and high-viscosity ceramic materials (right picture)

High-viscosity ceramic materials often exist in the form of pastes, with high viscosity and no fluidity. These characteristics can easily cause unevenness, lack of material, air bubbles, wire drawing, scratches, etc. during the squeegee leveling process, resulting in printing failure.

Current 3D printing of ceramic pastes mostly adopts the extrusion molding method with a pneumatic or pressure syringe. The alternative is to use a rotating squeegee to scrape the material, and the light-curing lift method for printing. The printing accuracy of the syringe extrusion printing method is low, and there are restrictions on the printed model’s geometry. The printed model can also easily collapse resulting in printing failure.

The CeraBuilder 3000P ceramic 3D printer launched by Intellite Laser uses a solid ultraviolet laser with a wavelength of 355nm as the forming light source and a specially designed bidirectional linkage precision coating scraping system, that can squeeze out the bubbles in the high-viscosity ceramic material during the paving process. This ensures an even deposition of the printing material to the front of the squeegee, without excessive accumulation of the printing material. The scraping material is thus evenly spread, which solves the very thin coating issue of high-viscosity ceramic printing materials.

CeraBuilder 3000P for slurry and paste ceramic AM
A large ceramic 3D printed part

In addition, this device is cost-effective, the printing parameters are fully open, and the unique stress relief scanning algorithm is more suitable for the development and molding of high-viscosity ceramic printing materials. The print format is adjustable, and it takes into account the two modes of laboratory trial production and industrial production.

The launch of the CeraBuilder 3000P high-viscosity ceramic 3D printer expands the capabilities of Intellite’s laser ceramic 3D printing technology. The company reported that this equipment has been verified and adopted by well-known domestic enterprises, serving the R&D and production of core devices in the aerospace industry.

CeraBuilder 3000P for slurry and paste ceramic AM

Ceramics is a traditional inorganic material with a history of thousands of years. But for the field of 3D printing, it is still an emerging material. Due to the characteristics of the material itself, to achieve printing and molding, the technical route is more complicated than printing pure resin materials and metal materials.

iLaser has been deeply involved in the field of ceramic 3D printing for many years, with R&D and production bases in Suzhou, Wuhan and Shenzhen. Previously, Intellite Laser launched a variety of ceramic 3D printers, with a molding range from Φ100mm*150mm to Φ300mm*150mm. They are specially used for printing and forming ceramic materials flowing at room temperature. They have been adopted by many domestic scientific research institutes and corporate users. Customers explore new applications, develop new materials, and help customers transform their ceramic R&D and production to digitalization.

Research 2021
Ceramic AM Market Opportunities and Trends

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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