High Quality, Fully Dense Ceramic Components Manufactured Using Fused Deposition of Ceramics (FDC)
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Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) is a technology that produces physical solid components or parts from computer design models. This technology has the potential of reducing functional ceramic product development cycle time in terms of reducing design iteration and production time, minimizing extra post processing, and therefore reducing cost. A commercially available Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM™) 3D Modeler was altered for use with ceramics. This newly developed method referred to as Fused Deposition of Ceramics (FDC) is capable of fabricating complex shape, functional ceramic components. We have investigated issues related to hardware, software, feed material, and build strategy which are required to achieve high quality, fully dense green ceramic parts. In this paper, we report recent improvements made in the FDC process, including hardware modifications, software improvements, feed material standardization, as well as build strategy/condition control. We also report the current FDC status for making complex functional parts. Our goal is to optimize the FDC condition to ensure its robustness for producing defect free green ceramic parts consistently and without interruption.