An Extremely Challenging Material – 3D Printed Ceramics

Ceramics are one of the most complex, highly sensitive, and difficult materials to work with when it comes to 3D printing. These complexities and sensitivities truly make ceramics what they are- beautiful, strong, and resistant to such things as corrosion or rust. It is no wonder scientists and engineers are excited that ceramic material can be and will be used in the future.

3D printing technologies and techniques are used to create many different types of objects that are currently being used today. These items range from simple hammers and nails to homes and shelters that are structurally sound. The 3D printer takes an image that is in 2D and transforms it into a 3D object that can be used. 3D printers can print objects in materials such as plastic, metal, ceramics, chocolate, and living cells. Many individuals truly enjoy all of the possibilities that these 3D printing devices promise to bring.

What Are the Promises and Problems Associated with 3D Printed Ceramics?

Ceramic material is very strong and can withstand a great deal of pressure and weight. These materials are beautiful and can be given any sort of finish from matte to shiny- this quality plays a huge role in creating objects that are heavily judged for aesthetics. Ceramics also have an incredibly high melting point meaning that structures that are built using ceramic material can be subjected to high temperatures without the fear of having the structure fall apart or melt. Because the ceramics that are used in 3D printing are created with a resin instead of a powder, the structure is even further reinforced and reliable.

Each of the qualities listed above could also prove to cause problems when printing with ceramics. Ceramics are strong, especially when made with resin instead of power. This will mean that in an emergency, it will take an exceptional amount of force to break the structure. If the ceramics are created with power, then the likelihood of the ceramics cracking under extreme cold are very likely. Unlike materials like plastics and metals, ceramics do not melt very easily because of its high melting point. This makes ceramic material very difficult to reshape once it is created. Ceramics are a very beautiful material to work with, but this material cannot be used in every situation that the typical metal or plastic could be used in.

What Are the Possibilities associated with 3D Printed Ceramics?

The possibilities that are associated with 3D printed ceramics are nearly endless. Ceramics can be printed in a variety of shapes such as honeycombs and spirals. In certain situations, this would mean that insects and animals such as the honey bee could be provided a temporary safe home that mimics what the organism would have normally created on their own.

Ceramics could be used in hypersonic aircraft vehicles and microscopic devices. These devices require parts and pieces that must be resistant to rust, corrosion, high heat, and abrasion. Plastics generally cannot withstand any sort of extreme heat, and metals are very susceptible to rust and corrosion. That is why ceramics are very promising in these fields. Ceramics can be printed far more quickly than metals and plastics during the traditional 3D printing technique. Not only are ceramics known to be strong and desirable, ceramics can simply be printed faster. When items can be printed more quickly, the demand for these items can be met more easily.