GC Advanced Material Solutions, Ltd. will partner with IAMtech, a company providing MEX-based 3-D printing solutions, to develop the AM market for ceramics. The MEX-based (Material Extrusion) AM technology is of significant interest as it is the most straightforward manufacturing technique without constraints such as a slow build rate, exclusive chemicals and huge equipment investments. Consequently, the preferred way for many part producers still is to buy a powder of their choice, mix it with a binder and introduce this feedstock into a reasonably priced 3-D printing equipment with a reasonable built rate.
“From the viewpoint of final material properties, nothing is more important than a homogeneous, reproducible material feedstock as a starting material”, according to Dr Robert Pompe, CEO of GC Advanced Material Solutions Ltd., HK, a company involved in the development and commercialization of MEX-based AM technologies, for all kinds of powder materials. “This is particularly true for technical ceramics with properties sensitive to any kind of structural defects”.
Recently, a test was conducted, showing that the new technology can produce sufficiently detailed parts, after only a few minor printer adaptions. This can be seen in the attached Image. The feedstock used was based on highly-loaded technical alumina powder.
“The tube-shaped part may, to our knowledge, be one of the thinnest and largest parts ever printed using this type of technology”, as also mentioned by R. Pompe.
“We are pleased with these initial results” stated Mahor Muñiz Cadenas, director of IAMTech. He also mentioned that they so far have been only working in the metal and plastic sector, adding: “Given these promising results we now would like to know and focus on real applications in the ceramic sector as our next target”.