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Adam Steinmark

Adam Steinmark
Mechanical Engineer

Dr. Stephen Farias

Stephen Farias
Chief Science Officer

Hristo Ivanov

Itso Ivanov
Manufacturing Specialist

Kavish Sudan
Materials Scientist

Additive Manufacturing of Bone Grafts

Our Direct Coagulation Printing (DCP) technology allows for isotropic sintering of ceramics

Ceramic Grafts vs. Autografts or Allografts

Compared to autograft (graft tissue is taken from another part of a patient’s body) or allograft (harvesting graft tissue from a living donor or cadaver) procedures, ceramic graft materials such as hydroxyapatite (HAp) do not face quantity limitations, carry no risk of morbidity or infection of the donor site, and are easily sterilized and stored.

Advantages of Direct Coagulation Printing

Unlike most ceramics which are generally fragile, have poor mechanical strength, and can be difficult to mold into a desired shape; the DCP process allows for 3D printing complex geometries without the need for “pre-scaffold” structures. Additionally, the inherent isotropic sintering of the material allows for increased mechanical properties, to control sintered density (to match the bone density at the location of the graft), and reduce the failure rate of manufactured parts.

3D Printing of Carbide and Nitride Ceramics

Ceramics printed using our Selective Laser Reaction Sintering (SLRS) technology do not require post-processing and have no change in volume of the printed part, as opposed to with other additive manufacturing methods. This process is able to manufacture parts from ceramic materials such as SiC, Si3N4, AlN, HfC, ZrC, TiC, HfN, ZrN, TiN, TaC, and TaN.

Small 3d printer processors

Applications of AM Ceramics

Printed ceramics can vastly increase the electrical efficiency in powered devices by managing the energy lost as heat. This is particularly important for electric vehicle manufacturers as the industry moves toward “zero emissions” transportation. Heat sinks and other cooling architecture can be modeled with more complex geometries and can be used to reduce part count in integrated electronics. The SLRS manufacturing process uses less material allowing for faster production of prototypes.

How does the SLRS process work?

The SLRS process is similar to standard Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) metal printing. However, instead of using an inert gas to allow for increased bonding between particles and to expunge any oxygen, the chamber is filled with a reactive gas which the sintering laser breaks down to cause a reaction and form a non-oxide ceramic.

The powder used is a mix of the metal and metal-oxide precursor. The metal experiences a positive volume change, while the oxide undergoes a negative volume change. By optimizing the ratio of the metal to the metal-oxide powder, “net-shape” geometry can be produced. The SLRS process is materials agnostic, meaning it can be used to create any carbide or nitride ceramic.

This manufacturing method does not require post processing, unlike other non-oxide ceramic AM solutions. With other technologies, a plastic binder may be used and the printed object will need to undergo a debinding and sintering process, which shrinks the part anisotropically. A traditionally printed part may also require supports that need to be cut or machined away. SLRS technology will greatly reduce the turnaround time for production of non-oxide ceramic parts and will use less energy compared to other methods.

Zero Volume Change non-oxide 3D ceramics printing

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