Shawn Allan1 Martin Schwentenwein2 Daniel Bomze2 Johannes Homa2

1, Lithoz America, LLC, Troy, New York, United States
2, Lithoz GmbH, Vienna, , Austria

Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) has emerged as a state-of-the-art technology for the production of dense high-performance ceramics in field of additive manufacturing (AM). LCM polymerizes ceramic slurries, which consist of ceramic particles dispersed in a photocurable binder matrix, in a layer-by-layer manner using light. The green-body is durable enough for handling and mechanical post-processing. After the AM process, the green-body is thermally processed to remove the polymer binder and densify the ceramic. Tremendously diverse and complex parts can be fabricated directly from CAD files. Parts formed by LCM exhibit the same mechanical properties as parts formed by conventional manufacturing processes.
LCM allows fabrication of bio-inert zirconia, an exceptionally tough ceramic, for permanent bone replacements and dental implants, crowns, bridges and orthodontic products. LCM also enables the structuring of bioresorbable ceramics like tricalcium phosphate (TCP) or hydroxyapatite (HA). These bioceramics are used in the biomedical field for patient-tailored implants, derived from CT scans. This provides the best compatibility for the patient and easy-to-use handling for the surgeon. The freedom of design facilitates cell scaffolds with defined macroporosity (e.g. cancellous bone shape) for the ingrowth of cells and vascularisation, allowing the delivery of nutrients and the removal of metabolic waste.
This contribution gives an overview about the capabilities of the LCM process, potential applications as well as current challenges. Resolution, reproducibility, surface roughness of the different materials and economic feasibility will also be topic of this presentation.