Multi-material 3D printing of ceramics for fabricating bi-phasic implants

Jun 30, 2022, 12:00 PM
Room: S4 A

Room: S4 A


Schwentenwein, Martin (Lithoz GmbH )


Combining different materials or material-properties in 3D printing is garnering widespread attention due to the wide range of possibilities that it provides to produce parts which are more functional and have improved properties. This paper presents the combination of lithography-based ceramic manufacturing, a vat photopolymerization technology capable of realizing high resolution 3D printing for ceramics with the mentioned multi-material approach. The presented approach not only enables the combination of different ceramics in different layers of the printed component, but also the spatially resolved combination within the same layer and hence, paves the way to the realization of complex bi-phasic ceramic components. First successful trials that will be presented include the combination of alumina and zirconia-toughened alumina (ZTA) and zirconia and hydroxyapatite. Especially, the latter combination possesses big potential in implants, as it allows combining the mechanical properties of zirconia ceramics with the biological performance and activity of hydroxyapatite. In this way it is possible to create implants that combine different mechanical, chemical, and biological properties in different areas and hence, would be very interesting candidates as bone replacement materials.
Moreover, this multi-material 3D-printing approach also allows the localized introduction of different levels of porosity and in such a way functionally-graded properties. Using so-called porogens or fugitives it was possible to create density gradients between almost fully dense areas and areas with a volumetric porosity of around 50%. In combination with the design freedom of 3D printing and the possibility of manufacturing complex cellular or lattice designs, this allows to fabricate implants or scaffolds with hierarchical porosity.
The paper will not only present the actual multi-material 3D printing process, but also focus on the results and current challenges in terms of co-sintering of different ceramic materials. The initial results show that this technological approach holds great potential to path the way from classical single material structures to bi-material components and subsequently multi-material and functionally-graded ceramics.


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