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3D Printed Ceramics – a Hot Topic for Many

November 7, 2014
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Last night, I attended a presentation sponsored by 3D Maryland on 3D Printed Ceramics. Walter Zimbeck and Todd Heil from Technology Assessment & Transfer, Inc. spoke about their company’s innovative additive manufacturing and R&D capabilities.  Before the workshop started, I overheard them talking about a co-worker’s pottery class she’s taking… What an ironic twist, someone working with both the oldest and newest techniques of ceramic production.

TA&T’s mission is “Bridging the Gap Between Technology and the Marketplace.”  Like many firms in the area, they work a lot with the government and universities to create and commercialize new materials and processes.  Given the interest in 3D printing components that can withstand extreme heat, many of their successful projects have focused on ceramic materials using a proprietary process called Ceramic Stereolithograpy (CS).  According to their website, CS uses “photo-curable resin filled with a high loading of ceramic powder to produce ceramic parts… Through digital manufacturing, hundreds of complex shapes can be manufactured simultaneously.

Based on their experiences, CS is definitely a harder process to master than its description implies, and given the end use of their products, one left to the experts…

Todd Heil is a Senior Engineer at Technology Assessment & Transfer, Inc. (TA&T) who holds a Materials Science PhD from Virginia Tech.

Walter Zimbeck manages TA&T’s 3D Printing group. He has an MS in Electrical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara.

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