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» RWTH Aachen University

Institute of Mineral Engineering,
RWTH Aachen University
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Among all Generative Manufacturing Technologies Direct Inkjet Printing offers the most promising potential to produce single-phase or multi-phase functional and structural ceramic components. The assembly is based on highly concentrated ceramic suspensions which are directly ejected through inkjet nozzles according to a 3D dataset. The particle loaded droplets are deposited layerwise onto appropriate substrates and the volatile ink contents are evaporated so that parts with high green densities result. Afterwards they are finally sintered without requiring a separate debinding step.

 
In contrast to other Generative Manufacturing Technologies Direct Inkjet Printing is characterized by a low thickness of the single layers and a high lateral resolution. Complex geometries are built up layer-by-layer, without the need for a powder bed, thus featuring high surface quality and enormous accuracy in reproducing the given dataset. Achievable densities and mechanical properties of the sintered parts are outstanding.
 
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rwth aachen university and netfabb
rwth aachen university
 
Three-dimensional printing systems which are based on commercially available 2D inkjet printers need conventional graphic file formats as they are not able to directly process .stl- or .vrml-data sets. These volume-files first have to be dissected and converted into appropriate formats before the printing system can build up the part. As the thickness of the printed layers depends on the solids content of the ceramic suspensions and the composition of its additive compounds, it is necessary to flexibly define slices in the sub-µm-range. We use Netfabb Studio Professional and the Slice Commander as a powerful tool, to generate the slices in layer thicknesses according to the requirements of Direct Inkjet Printing.