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Direct laser sintering of ceramics

: Klocke, F.; Ader, C.

Bourell, D.L. ; Univ. of Texas, Austin:
Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium 2003. Proceedings : August 4 - 6, 2003
Austin: Univ. of Texas, 2003
Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF) <14, 2003, Austin/Tex.>
Fraunhofer IPT ()
layer manufacturing; rapid prototyping; Rapid Tooling; ceramic; laser sintering

Due to a layer-wise build-up of a three-dimensional geometry, nearly every complex design is producible in a short period of time. Laser Sintering is a powder-based technique to produce plastic prototypes (Rapid Prototyping) or metal mold 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 mold 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.