As an inventor of this family of glass-ceramic materials, Corning has mastered the development of tailor-made glass-ceramics for use in a number of fields. Now the company is working with ceramics 3D printing leader Lithoz, and introducing a glass-ceramic additive manufacturing workflow leveraging the material’s lower sintering temperatures and no need for polishing.
Lithoz’ Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) enables formation of high quality advanced ceramics. The additive manufacturing process, originally developed at the Technical University of Vienna, uses light to structure ceramic powders suspended in a photopolymer resin. Lithoz’ ceramic printers yield a green-body ceramic part that can then be debinded and fired in a way that is very similar to other ceramic processes.
Recently, the Lithoz LCM process was applied to a Corning glass-ceramic. The companies co-developed and produced a slurry made of Corning glass-ceramic powder within a Lithoz resin system. This material was used to 3D print parts on a Lithoz CeraFab printer. The glass-ceramic was then sintered and annealed through Corning’s thermal process. The result was the achievement of complex, high-resolution glass-ceramic pieces that fully met Corning’s property specs and requirements.
Since their invention in the 1950s, glass-ceramic materials have been used in diverse and specialized applications due to their ability to combine two or more properties in a way not easily accessible in any other material. What is more, glass-ceramics demonstrate considerable advantages over inorganic materials – such as greater chemical durability than the precursor glass, superior mechanical toughness, high resistance to radiation damage, piezoelectricity and electro-optic effects, among others. Corning