XJet has been making quite a stir in the 3D printing world this year, since the introduction of their unprecedented NanoParticle Jetting Technology back in April. The metal printing method is unlike anything that has been seen before, featuring a cartridge system that jets metal nanoparticles onto the build platform in thin layers of liquid. The technology has been extolled for its ability to produce intricate details and complex, thin-walled shapes, as well as its safety compared to metal powders.
Before the excitement about NanoParticle Jetting Technology has even died down, XJet has announced another breakthrough: ceramic inkjet printing. Ceramic 3D printing in general is still very new in comparison to metal or plastic printing, so the fact that XJet has managed to leverage NanoParticle Jetting to encompass the material is big news.
“After many years of research, we are excited to have reached this milestone of development, producing another high quality material through NanoParticle Jetting (NPJ),” said Hanan Gothait, CEO and Founder of XJet. “NPJ is a truly disruptive technology as it offers a totally new level of fine details, material properties and simple clean operation without the need to design or remove complex support structures.”
NanoParticle Jetting Technology prints ceramic materials in the same way as metals. A liquid dispersion containing ceramic nanoparticles, contained in sealed cartridges, is loaded into the printer, where it is then jetted onto the build platform, just like any inkjet printer. The high temperatures inside the build envelope cause the liquid to evaporate, leaving layers of ceramic behind to form parts with the same mechanical properties as traditionally manufactured ceramics.
The benefits are the same as those of metal NanoParticle Jetting, too: the ability to print parts in virtually any shape, with the kind of details and thin-walled structures that are difficult to achieve with other forms of ceramic printing. Support materials, which are also delivered in cartridge form, are extremely easy to remove as well. XJet will be showcasing the new ceramic technology, along with their metal NanoParticle Jetting Technology, at formnext, which is taking place in Frankfurt from November 15 to 18. 3DPrint.com will be there, and we can’t wait to take a look at the new technology in person.
“The expansion of NanoParticle Jetting to include ceramics will allow XJet to address an even wider range of applications, such as dental, medical and specific industrial applications,” said Dror Danai, Chief Business Officer, XJet. “At formnext we will demonstrate how the usage of ink-jet technology, and it’s very large tray, will encourage more industries to look at Ceramic Additive Manufacturing as an option for both customized parts and relatively large scale manufacturing of small parts.”
I never would have imagined I’d see the day that ceramics – as well as metals – could be sprayed onto a surface as easily as a 2D printer sprays ink. Even after seeing the amazing things that 3D printing is capable of on a day to day basis, the technology still never ceases to amaze me. Discuss in the Ceramic NanoParticle Jetting forum at 3DPB.com.