Additive manufacturing (AM) also generically referred to as 3D printing, is the most recent addition to Ceramco’s manufacturing methods for the production of ceramic parts. The industry-specific name for this process is Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing or LCM. Unlike any of Ceramco’s low pressure or high pressure injection molding methods (LPIM, HPIM or microPIM) LCM overcomes the problem of die lock often encountered in complex geometries.
Overcoming Die Lock & Demolding Issues of Custom Ceramic Parts
Die lock is encountered when some of a part’s geometry is not in the same draw direction as the rest of the part, or it involves an undercut or intersection. This condition is also referred to as a: “demolding issue.” Tooling dies for ceramic parts with these conditions often cannot be produced, making volume production methods impossible… until now! Ceramco’s LCM, does not require tooling, instead using the customer’s CAD file to determine all the necessary geometries of the ceramic part, regardless of their complexity.
Let's say you are committed to a project with Ceramco destined for LPIM, HPIM or microPIM, but require some sample parts quickly for testing? While the injection molded part eventually will require tooling, using Ceramco’s LCM, the 4-6 weeks wait while tooling is made is reduced (in some cases) to days.
Rapid Prototyping of Custom Ceramic Parts
Utilizing LCM, not only is the wait time reduced, the resultant parts may reveal some design changes that would otherwise mean adjusting or even scrapping tooling had it been required. You save time and, potentially, can also save money.
Economical Shorter Runs – Ceramco’s tooling-free LCM also provides a means to produce a low quantity of custom parts at a reasonable cost, working directly from your CAD file.
Lithograph-based Ceramic Manufacturing – What You Can Expect
- Lattice structures with 0.12 mm (120 μm) minimum walls* and struts
- Minimal feature size of 0.5 mm for holes, 0.3 mm for pins and about 0.5 mm for walls*
- Minimum resolution of 0.04 mm (40 μm)
- Tool free fabrication – Optimizing feature sizes via CAD
* Wall thickness of 1 – 4 mm is optimal
Parts produced using Ceramco’s LCM process are comparable to those we manufacture using LPIM, HPIM and microPIM forming processes. The materials our LCM utilizes include both alumina and zirconia compositions, formulated specifically for this process. Although, LCM produced parts are typically smaller, containing more features than an injection molded part, they are subject to the same quality standards.
People Making it Happen
LCM... is like living in the future, today! Ceramco’s trained specialists are ready to produce quality custom ceramic parts quickly… even parts that were once impossible to produce, regardless of the time available.
Ready to Make it Happen for You
Do you need a quotation on your print for a custom ceramic part? Contact Ceramco. You'll be greeted by a courteous customer service specialist ready to provide immediate, personal assistance. Ceramco specializes in manufacturing custom ceramic parts with complex geometries, matching the appropriate forming process to your order's specifications and quantity: