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Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics by Composite Microextrusion

A concept for Additive Manufacturing (AM) of ceramics by a modified Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process is presented. Instead of feeding a 3D-printer with a prefabricated filament, the feedstock consists of a ceramic powder/polymer composite granulate. The granulates are fed to a pressure and temperature controlled twin screw extruder where the material is extruded continuously to fine
filaments through a small nozzle. These filaments are deposited and
arranged to pre-determined 3D-structures by controlled 3-axis movement
of the extruder. Printed structures ranging from dense monolithic
bars to honeycombs with varying filling levels to shallow angle thin
wall dishes are demonstrated. Detailed studies of the combination
of varying process parameters are required to yield optimised print
results comparable to those of commercial FDM printers.

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