A brief perspective of 3-D printing ceramic materials will be presented in general and more specifically for a technique known as robocasting.
Robocasting is a specific subset of extrusion-based AM techniques utilizing concentrated fine-particulate pastes carried in a volatile solvent medium. Removal of the solvent transforms the paste into a solid-like state thereby “curing” the particulate assemblage and facilitating the creation of components. Relationships between inter-particle forces and rheology which control robocasting will be discussed.
Robocasting is particularly suitable for commercial-scale manufacturing of porous lattice structures for filtration of molten metals, catalyst supports, CO2 sorbent monoliths, and load-bearing bone scaffolds. Custom labware, components with internal structures (e.g., heat exchangers), and multi-material capabilities will be presented. The character and performance of these structures will be reviewed.
Considerations for designing parts most amenable to robocasting will be discussed as well as the advantages, disadvantages, limitations, and future challenges.