Formlabs announces that its Ceramic Resin for 3D printers is available in North America and Europe. Ceramic materials have often required the use of industrial additive systems. This experimental material for the Form 2 makes ceramics accessible to non-industrial users.
This resin allows users to 3D print parts with a stone-like finish and fire them to create a fully ceramic piece.
Ceramic Resin material is more difficult to work with than other Formlabs products and requires extra steps and additional experimentation for successful printing. It is a silica-filled photopolymer. After firing, the photopolymer network burns out to form a true ceramic part.
The Ceramic Resin requires designing within specific constraints for successful printing and firing. Formlabs offers some guidelines but encourages experimentation.
It’s a good idea to sand the build platform to increase print adherence. Also, shake the cartridge to mix the material.
To accommodate expected shrinkage during firing, scale parts in PreForm. Then you are ready to print.
For post-processing, parts can be washed in isopropyl alcohol (IPA) which will also help remove supports. Ensure that parts are completely dry before firing.
Fire the part in an actively ventilated kiln that fires to at least cone 8 to burn out the photopolymer from the material and create a fully ceramic final part. Parts will shrink by around 15% in XY and 29% in Z during firing.
If desired, apply a glaze of your choosing, following the manufacturer’s instructions.