Lithoz GmbH, based in Vienna, specializes in the development and production of ceramic materials and additive manufacturing systems (3D printing) for the simple and cost-effective production of high- performance ceramic prototypes, small scale series and complex parts.
Since its founding, Lithoz has been characterized by one central promise - to always deliver the best possible quality for ceramic 3D printing and to continually push the limits of ceramics development as an active partner to our customers. Behind this promise are our values, which have become the DNA of Lithoz throughout our history.In 2010, after years of intensive research, Dr. Johannes Homa and Dr. Johannes Benedikt had the decisive breakthrough they had been searching for: they finally managed to manufacture technical ceramics with equal properties as those produced using conventional technologies (such as slipcasting). Motivated by this success, the pair decided to continue their work - and thus, Lithoz GmbH was born.
The LCM-Technology is a slurry-based process, where ceramic powder is homogenously dispersed in a photocurable monomer system and selectively polymerized through mask exposure to initially give the so-called green part. These green parts are basically composites of ceramic particles within a photopolymer matrix, which acts as a binder for the ceramic particles. During the thermal post-treatment the organic matrix is removed via pyrolysis and the particles are densified during sintering to give the dense ceramic body. These two process steps are typically applied as well in the conventional ceramic forming technologies.
Generally speaking, the LCM technology is suited to process all powder-like and sinterable powders. This has led to processing a wide spectrum of customer-specific materials with the LCM approach over the last years.
LIS technology comes into its own where conventional ceramic processes are costly in terms of time and money. Expensive tooling, long waiting times and time-consuming sampling are all eliminated, with the workable green part simply being returned to the familiar post-processing steps after 3D print molding.
Starting with a CAD model, the information relevant for the print job is digitally transferred directly from your computer to the CeraMax Vario.
At the beginning of each print run, a layer of water-based slurry of up to 1,000 µm is applied on the platform. A high-speed CO2 laser then selectively dries the slurry according to the layer pattern specification. Additional layers of the slurry are applied and selectively dried until a finished green body with the desired geometries has been created. At this point, the body is still in suspension.
After the last cycle, the build platform is raised, allowing the excess slurry to flow off and leaving the free-standing green body, which then undergoes the same familiar post-processing steps as in conventional ceramic manufacturing processes.
© source LITHOZ GMBH