Press Releases

Alfred University School of Engineering has nation’s most-advanced ceramic 3-D printer

Alfred University | 12/17/18

Kiyoshi Kanneshiro with Lithoz CeraFab 8500 3-D printer
Kiyoshi Kanneshiro with Lithoz CeraFab 8500 3-D printer

Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering is the first in the country to install a 3-D printer capable of printing high-resolution ceramic materials.


Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering is the first in the country to install a 3-D printer capable of printing high-resolution ceramic materials.

            The equipment will be used for research and education, as well as by industrial partners wanting to explore additive printing as an advanced manufacturing technique using ceramic materials.

            The unit, a Lithoz CeraFab 8500, was purchased through a U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Energy University Program grant that covered 80 percent of the $509,850 cost of the equipment. The School of Engineering contributed the remaining 20 percent.

Principal Investigator S.K. Sundaram, Inamori Professor of Materials Science, said the new equipment allows the University to explore additive manufacturing of materials for nuclear applications.

            In addition to nuclear ceramics research, the equipment is available for education and exploration of ceramic additive manufacturing by undergraduate and graduate students at the University.

“The system can also be utilized by University industrial partners, through Alfred’s Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT) and the newly formed Center for Advanced Ceramic Manufacturing & Education (CACME),” noted David Gottfried, deputy director of the CACT.  “These centers focus on building industrial partnerships with firms seeking analytical and research solutions in the areas of technical ceramics and glass, with an emphasis on additive manufacturing, ceramic machining and polishing, high-temperature processing, and high-temperature characterization.”

 

            It is part of a suite of equipment at the School that will form the Center for Advanced Ceramic Manufacturing and Education. Additional funding for equipment purchases has come through the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council of Empire State Development Corporation and through the SUNY 2020 program. The School of Engineering’s programs in biomedical materials, ceramics, glass science and materials science are part of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

            Shawn Allan, a 2002 alumnus of Alfred University who is vice president of Lithoz in Troy, NY, explained the “Lithoz system is the most advanced CeraFab currently located in North America, with a large, high-resolution print area and a maximum printing height of 320 mm, and features the new CeraFab Control software.”

            Allan noted the “system will complement the extensive capabilities at Alfred University in 3-D printing, ceramic processing, sintering, characterization and manufacturing.”