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Additive Manufacturing – Will Ceramic and Glass Powders miss out?

Here at the powders section of the Materials KTN we have created a roadmap document that outlines the challenges and opportunities for materials in the field of dentistry. As Materials KTN representatives we attended seminars and discussion groups to aid in the creation of the roadmap, during this process we repeatedly heard the concern that the direct manufacture of crowns etc. using Additive manufacture (AM) was being missed.

It has long been recognised that ceramic (and to a lesser extent) glass powders throw up a number of barriers to Additive Manufacture: Unlike polymer and metal powders there is no efficient melting and connection of powder particles. As a result, porosity in the final 3-D shape becomes almost inevitable. 

By bringing together three different industrial sectors that rely on ceramic structures (traditional tableware ceramics, dentistry and orthopaedics), it is hoped to generate a synergy whereby a sharing of commercial drivers and technical challenges stimulates ideas for a way forward. The generation of R&D projects suitable for submission under future Technology Strategy Board (TSB) calls would be one target goal for the meeting.

A workshop “by invite only” is being held Wed 19 March to that end, it will include a good balance of academics and industrial players along the materials / producer / service provider supply chain. If you feel you would like to attend, please contact Phil Jackson at stating your expertise and the insights you could bring to the meeting

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