Direct Laser Sintering of Ceramics

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Klocke, F.
Ader, Christoph

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For more than one decade layer manufacturing technologies assist the development of new products. Due to a layer-wise build-up of a three-dimensional geometry, nearly every complex design is producible in a short period of time. Selective Laser Sintering is a powderbased technique to produce plastic prototypes (Rapid Prototyping) or metal mould inserts (Rapid Tooling). The laser sintering of ceramic powder is not yet commercialized but applications could be both Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Tooling. The former involves the laser sintering of investment casting shells and cores to cast metal prototypes and the latter the laser sintering of ceramic master patterns for metal spray forming of steel mould inserts. The advantage compared to actual processes are a faster availability of the final product. To facilitate these applications, special ceramic powders as well as new process parameter combinations were investigated. This paper will present achieved results within the abovedescribed applications.



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