Before printing

We’re a producer for high purity ceramic powders, we produce these powders in various forms for different type of shaping processes. We are also known for our Zetamix line of product of ceramic and metal filaments for FDM printing.
FDM stands for Fused Deposition Modeling. It’s a technology from 3D printing.
We print in ceramics and metal ; in ceramics, we have White Zirconia, Black Zirconia, Alumina and for metal, we only have 316L for the moment.
In contrast with ceramic arts and crafts, technical ceramic materials are used for cutting-edge applications.
No we aren’t, 3D printing your part gives you access to geometry that you can’t achieve with any other technology (e.g. hollow structures).
We recommend FDM machine using a direct feed system for their extruder. We also prefer machines using a Bondtech like extruder, this helps the feeding of the filament without putting to much strain of it. Here are a couple of machine brands we back : Raise 3D, Prusa, FlashForge, 3NTR.
The maximum size is the size of the furnace (Zetasinter) which is 200x100diameter (mm).
After testing, it was found that it was not necessary to print with any special nozzles. We would only recommend you to have on nozzle per material. If you wanted, you can change your nozzle every 2 spools.
This is not necessary but depending on your usage and working environment a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter can be mounted on your machine to filter out the printing space.
Most companies are already equipped with a commercial grade FDM. Our filaments are usable by most of these commercial printers, so little extra cost would be deployed to implement an in-house printer that would print ceramic and metal parts. We believe that FDM printing is also a very good compromise between cost and precision. You can also do completely enclosed cavities without having any holes.

Printing parameters & properties

This is defined by you just before you print your part, it can vary from 0.05 to 1mm.
We can print with varied nozzle diameters and layer thicknesses but our most commonly used nozzle is 0.4mm and a 0.15 to 0.2 mm layer thickness.
The recommended printing speed can vary between 25 to 40 mm/s depending on the material and complexity of the part being printed.
For support, we can print in the same material but also print these support in other material such as PLA or PVA.
The temperatures used are between, 100°C to 200°C, well in range of what classical FDM printers are able to deliver.
With the Raise3D Pro2, the precision when printing our filaments is : • Layer height = 0,05mm (before sintering) • Layer width = 0,01mm (before sintering)
About 20% for ceramics, this number varies for each specific material (even between black and white zirconia) but the shrinkage is a constant for each of these. For metal, the shrinkage is 11.5% in the XY directions and 12.5% in the Z direction.
The shrinkage is homogeneous for ceramics. For metal there is a 1% change between the X-Y and Z direction.

After printing

After the chemical debinding, the parts needs to air dry to get rid of the acetone.
We recommend to take the support off after the chemical debinding step.
For our Stainless Steel sintering process, we advise doing so in a neutral gas atmosphere: e.g. argon or nitrogen.
This isn’t a problem when you’re dealing with Zetamix’s ceramic filaments. There are some risk for our metal filament if you have big overhangs, you may have distortion during sintering.