Lithoz Presents the Ceramic 3D Factory: Producing 14 Million Parts per Year

RAPID

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The 3D printing of high-performance ceramics is fast growing into an established production technique. With clear growing demand for ceramic 3D printing at an industrial scale across industries, Lithoz has already empowered the efficient realization of a wide range of previously unimaginable applications across industry, medicine and beyond. The fact that more than half of their customers have invested in multiple CeraFab S65 3D printers to add to their machine park of market-leading Lithoz LCM (lithography-based ceramic manufacturing) systems highlights the success innovators have found with this technology.

At the upcoming RAPID+TCT, Lithoz will showcase the next dimension in utilizing LCM ceramic 3D printing for large-scale industrial production. With the arrival of “The Ceramic 3D Factory”, Lithoz technology and service bureaus all over the world are united in one global network for interconnected serial production. An impressive showcase of 260 identically designed aerospike nozzles produced at varying sizes will demonstrate the perfect reproducibility and powerful scalability of LCM technology to industrial dimensions. With 100 Lithoz CeraFab System S65 printers connected, the smallest parts shown can be manufactured with exact reproducibility at a printing speed of 3:46 minutes per part, resulting in an annual total volume of almost 14 million parts.

With its flexible all-rounder qualities and straightforward scalability to more than 100 interconnected printers, the CeraFab System S65 is the technological backbone of “The Ceramic 3D Factory”. This industry-leading machine has been specially designed for interconnected mass production, delivering the highest possible build speed at a constant accuracy even for the most intricate application. Its ultra-precise exposure ensures zero tolerance over the whole build platform and guarantees perfect part reproducibility during every print job – without compromise.

One success story of a company using powerful Lithoz technology to drive their innovation is Steinbach AG, who are considered pioneers in the use of additive manufacturing (AM) for the mass production of high-performance technical ceramics. The German company were contacted to produce high-precision tubes with sharp bends and inner contours for use in the Da Vinci™ surgical robot.

At the beginning of the project, the biggest challenges Steinbach faced were to meet some of the dimensional parameters defined in the production order, including completely new tube geometries with sharp bends and inner contours, minimal wall thicknesses of 200 µm, and perfectly smooth surfaces with roughness values of Ramax = 0.4 µm. The full innovative value of the LCM solution was needed to achieve the required narrow tolerance of +20 µm in the outer geometry at a reproducibility of 12,000 pieces per year.

Six months after receiving the order, Steinbach achieved the full annual production volume requested at the required parameters and with comparable reject rates to conventional manufacturing technologies. This success story not only proves the outstanding productivity of the ultra-precise Lithoz LCM technology, but also shows how this leading technology has made “The Ceramic 3D Factory” an industrial reality.

Alongside Steinbach, Lithoz is partnered with many other experienced service bureaus all over the world to bring “The Ceramic 3D Factory” to your application. SiNAPTIC Technologies, as the major LCM technology hub for North American innovators interested in ceramic 3D printing, already has seven Lithoz CeraFab System industrial 3D printers installed at their facility. Thanks to the scaled-up manufacturing power of LCM technology, experts at SiNAPTIC are working on the large-scale production of technical ceramic parts for industrial and medical applications.

As close partners of Lithoz, SiNAPTIC and Steinbach are integral parts of the large network bringing “The Ceramic 3D Factory” to life. Also making up this network are important global players such as Germany-based Bosch Advanced Ceramics and the Japanese Mitsui Kinzoku group. Together with the showcase of “The Ceramic 3D Factory”, parts printed by expert partners will be on display at RAPID+TCT 2024 alongside a ‘touch and feel’ experience of medical and industrial components. These parts, all printed on CeraFab industrial 3D printers, will highlight the additional value that innovators have unlocked using Lithoz LCM technology to complement their production processes.

Visit the Lithoz booth (1613) at RAPID+TCT to experience “The Ceramic 3D Factory”!

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