Stereolithographic Process

Fraunhofer Center HTL develops and manufactures prototypes and small series of technical ceramics and mineral materials using 3D printing with a CeraFab 7500 (Lithoz GmbH). This device produces the ceramic component layer by layer using a stereolithography-based process, also known as Layerwise Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM). A photosensitive ceramic slurry is selectively irradiated and cured with light in the visible range through a photomask. The additively manufactured green part is then debinded and sintered into a dense technical ceramic.

Manufacturing of Complex and Delicate Components
Green components on the building platform
© Fraunhofer Center HTL
Green components on the build platform during the printing process
Components made of technical ceramics
© Fraunhofer Center HTL
Complex and filigree stereolithography-based printed components made of technical ceramics (aluminum oxide)
3D printed corner connector
© Fraunhofer Center HTL
3D printed corner connector with support plate, dimensions approx. 60 x 60 x 36 mm³

The strength of this process lies in the ability to produce very delicate and complex components with high density and surface quality. This way, complicated post-processing steps can be minimized or completely avoided, and the components exhibit excellent mechanical properties.

At the HTL, the range of additive manufacturing of technical ceramics extends from CAD-supported component design and construction to custom development of printing materials, 3D printing of geometric plastic models, feasibility studies, and additive manufacturing of ceramic components. The offering is rounded out by the ability to optimize debinding and sintering processes on a component-specific basis using thermo-optical measurement methods (TOM).

Available Materials
  • Aluminum oxide
  • 3 mol.-% yttrium-stabilized zirconium oxide
  • Tricalcium phosphate, hydroxyapatite
  • SiAlON
  • Glasses and glass ceramics
Technical Data
  • Lateral resolution: 40 μm (635 dpi)
  • Layer thickness: 25 μm (corresponds to vertical resolution)
  • Build volume (X, Y, Z): 76 mm x 43 mm x 150 mm
  • Build speed: 2.5 to 10 mm per hour

Service Offering:

  • Consultation on material selection and ceramic- and process-oriented component design
  • Component design and construction, supported by FE methods including topology optimization
  • Feasibility studies
  • Contract manufacturing of prototypes and small series
  • Development of customer-specific starting materials for LCM printing
  • Implementation and optimization of heat processes