AM Ceramics|ceramitec conference 2020 Review

AM Ceramics | ceramitec conference 2020 took place virtually on 16-17th September.

With the impact of the coronavirus pandemic making in-person events impossible, the AM Ceramics 2020 team were determined to push forwards and host an inspiring and educational event for all those interested in the world of additive manufacturing and ceramics. Thanks to today’s technology, we were able to move our lectures and discussions online and hosted an engaging and interactive event on an online platform, which fortunately allowed many more guests from all over the world to join us for the lectures. Mr. Ulrich Werr of Rauschert Heinersdorf-Pressig GmbH, who particularly praised the event, said: ‘This year was my third time taking part in AM Ceramics and I found the online event to be a good substitute under the given circumstances. I could comfortably listen to the lectures from my desk. I also consider the online event to be a useful addition for when in-person events can take place again.’

The conference opened on 16th September, with the ceramitec conference and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems leading several exciting discussions focusing on ceramic materials and the process of manufacturing ceramic components. Professor Alexander Michaelis of the Fraunhofer IKTS opened the event with a keynote speech, welcoming participants to this year’s virtual platform and presenting some new technological developments which have been designed to overcome the obstacles facing the additive manufacture of ceramics. He also covered why some of these challenges exist, explaining how it often comes down to ensuring additively manufactured components are of high quality and precision and therefore highlighting how companies need to access the quality of components as soon as possible during the production process, before finally sharing some first results of 5D printing. Guests were then treated to a digital lab tour of the additive manufacturing technology at the Fraunhofer IKTS by Uwe Scheithauer.

There was a short break, wherein Lithoz shared a film detailing their work in additive manufacturing and how ceramics can be used for various industrial and medical applications. The first set of lectures centered on components and thermal processing, with Dr. Tobias Fürderer of DOCERAM Ingenieurkeramik GmbH, Moeschter Group, looking at product development in the area of multiphase ceramics and the many different obstacles that can occur from the imagination to the production of a new component, as well as how these are overcome. Christian Melzer of RUAG Space Germany GmbH then gave an interesting talk about ceramic packages for magneto-resistive sensors in space applications, while Dr. Christian Schenk of Carbolite Gero GmbH & Co. KG brought this first part of the event to a close with a lecture on the advances in debinding and sintering ceramics under air and modified atmospheres, sharing various application examples in different furnaces.

A collection of video insights by the Fraunhofer IKTS was then aired before the second segment of the day, focusing on data collection and processing, took place. Daniel Wagner, of DIAS Infrared GmbH, and Johannes Abel, of the Fraunhofer IKTS, led a discussion about the non-contact infrared temperature measurement within in-line process control, with Wagner first giving an overview of the different techniques used to take these measurements and Abel sharing some results of the inline process control in additively manufacturing ceramic components. This was followed by a talk by Dr. Martin Juhrisch of Symate GmbH, who spoke about the various solutions being found and developed for the sustainable optimization of ceramic process chains and gave examples of how existing data from machines and systems can be used and adapted without making fundamental changes to existing changes.

Dr. Valentin Lang of the TU Dresden then closed the first day with his presentation on data acquisition and analysis for process monitoring in the field of additive manufacturing, sharing insights into the use of artificial intelligence to overcome challenges faced during production and the problems presented by AI itself. After a short synopsis of the first day, participants were all looking forward to a second day of inspiring talks!

The second day kicked off with a warm welcome from Lithoz CEO, Dr. Johannes Homa, who gave a keynote speech about how the modern world is becoming ever more digital and the ways in which additive manufacturing can help companies adapt. He spoke about the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic in terms of making progress and staying connected, highlighting just how important digital technologies have been during these times in keeping businesses developing. Finally, the vast number of possibilities offered by additive manufacturing in terms of creating new markets and revenue streams was emphasized, with the focus being upon developing machines, technologies and materials as well as applications.

There were several lectures and discussions throughout the day, concentrating on additive manufacturing and other technologies for the 3D printing of ceramics, as well as the applications of ceramic components in industry and medicine. Professor Dr. Franz Weber of the University of Zurich spoke about the additive manufacturing of ceramics with regards to manufacturing personalized bone substitutes, sharing his successful results using additive manufacturing as a medical tool, while Ambra Paterlini of Lincotek Medical examined the tribo-mechanical behavior of semi-porous parts for small joint arthroplasty, comparing the different patterns of alumina, zirconia and zirconia-toughened alumina samples and how their properties can help to fight osteoarthritis. Professor Dr. Niels Benson of the University of Duisberg also shared his experience of ceramic additive manufacturing in the field of RADAR applications and showed how additive manufacturing is aiding the manufacture of new applications which require absolute precision and complex structures, such as mobile material transceivers which are used in fire rescue operations.

After a short break, the event continued with a talk by Dr. Thomas Konegger of the TU Vienna. Dr. Konegger concentrated on the additive manufacturing of aluminum nitride ceramics, looking at the different advantages and uses of this innovative material with a focus on its exceptional thermal properties and stability. Steven Weingarten of the Fraunhofer IKTS led a lecture on the multi-material jetting of ceramic components, giving a comprehensive overview of new multi-material 3D printers, the developments in materials facilitating this technology and various methods for inline process control. The final talk of this year’s event was hosted by Dr. Erik Adolfsson of the RISE Research Institute Sweden, who focused on the additive manufacture of zirconia ceramic components and the work being carried out to develop new suspensions in this area, while also giving examples of the different technologies and machines being used during this process.

There was then a short synopsis of the two days and despite the significant challenges faced, the event was a great success. Mr. Igor Palka, co-organiser of the event with the ceramitec conference, was also extremely happy with the event’s achievements: ‘The continuation of the cooperation between AM Ceramics and the ceramitec conference was a grand success. With great speakers, interesting topics and entertaining sessions we could reach a broad audience interested in AM and ceramics!’

We hope everyone had a fantastic time at AM Ceramics | ceramitec conference 2020 and we look forward to next year’s success!