There are five main 3D ceramic printing and moulding technologies available worldwide: IJP, FDM, LOM, SLS and SLA. Previous article explains IJP. Today let us start with FDM.
FDM, similar to fused deposition moulding for plastic 3D printing, is usually achieved by the interplay of 3 components: the feed roll, the guide sleeve and the printhead.
The forming process involves the hot molten filament material (mixed with ceramic powder) passing through the feed rollers and entering the guide sleeve under the action of the moving and active rollers, using the low friction of the guide sleeve to heat and melt the filament material in the nozzle in a precise and continuous manner, the extruded composite material solidifies under the temperature difference and is printed according to the established design.
Although this technology enables the fusion of a variety of materials, the nozzle diameter is limited, the structure has limitations and the precision is low, which is more suitable for the field of ceramic crafts and the biofabrication of porous materials. The production process requires a support structure, high nozzle temperatures and raw material requirements are technical difficulties.
LOM, a thin sheet material stacking process, also known as selective cutting of thin shaped materials, is a direct layer to three-dimensional part process by laser cutting the film material (with binder), moving the lifting table, cutting the stack in layers and bonding it to form under the action of hot bonded pressed parts.
They are fast, suitable for the manufacture of complex layered parts, do not require a support structure and are relatively simple to process. Ceramic flakes can be prepared using the flow casting method, which is a mature technology at home and abroad, and the raw materials are easily and quickly available.
However, the material chosen needs to be cut and stacked, which inevitably results in a large amount of material waste and the utilization rate needs to be improved, while the laser cutting process increases the printing costs. It is not suitable for printing complex, hollow objects, there is a more obvious step effect between the layers, and the finished border needs to be polished and sanded.