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TIWARI and ESA present RAPTOR 3D printer for ceramics » 3dpbm

ESA-supported startup TIWARI Scientific Instruments in Germany has developed low-cost 3D printer, the RAPTOR, which is capable of 3D printing a variety of metals and ceramics using a bound powder filament extrusion process. While the 3D printer is similar to other systems now available in the market – such as those introduced by Nanoe and Triditive among others – TIWARI was able to leverage support from ESA to validate four metal and ceramic materials for space and other applications.

TIWARI’s process uses thermoplastic filaments that are embedded with particles of the metal or ceramic the part is to be made from. Once the printing is finished, the green part is put through a thermal treatment to eliminate the plastic, leaving behind a metal or ceramic item.

“Once this plastic-containing body goes through this treatment then what is left behind is pure metal or ceramic,” explained ESA non-metallic materials and processes engineer Ugo Lafont. “The result is high-quality parts with very good physical properties. So this cheap, simple technique can offer us additional part manufacturing capability for space applications with an expanded pallet of materials.”

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