Global materials company Tethon Corporation (dba Tethon 3D), of Omaha Nebraska USA, received the US patent “Three-Dimensional Printed Objects with Optimized Particles for Sintering and Controlled Porosity”, for optimally sintering parts that 3D printed via photopolymerization processes of bound metal and bound ceramic slurries.
The patent covers objects made from UV curable materials of a widely-used formulation, sintering is necessary for UV-curable metal-polymer and ceramic-polymer composite materials. This patent describes particle shape characteristics that allow for improved sintering results in objects created by UV curing platforms, such as SLA, DLP, volumetric, and some jetting processes.
“Particle size is commonly the first consideration in materials formulation for 3D printing”, said Greg Pugh, inventor, and Tethon 3D Chief Technology Officer. “However, particle morphology, particle heterogeneity, and distribution all contribute to printing and sintering success”.
Also covered in the patent are “green-state” structures that are produced with a UV curable resin and a sinterable material, but remain un-sintered in final form.
“Similarities exist in the printing and post-processing of metals and ceramics”, said Trent Allen, Tethon’s CEO. “While our expertise is in ceramic materials, our R&D efforts solve problems and challenges that are shared by metal additive manufacturing and our IP portfolio reflects this broad work”.
Aside from 3D printing, the patent covers other methods of manufacture that employ the sintering of UV curable composite resins, such as slip casting, molding, and press-forming. Photo-resins may be used in these methods to reduce processing time.
“The knowledge we’ve gained in photocurable materials advances the entire industry. It grows not only Tethon 3D, but it also benefits our collaborative partners” added Karen Linder, Executive Chair.