Beyond familiar materials such as metal and plastic, there are other materials that can be processed using 3D printing. One innovative specialty is cementitious materials which are used in the construction industry, for example.
The continuous expansion of the technology and material spectrum opens up the possibility of finding an optimal combination for your application. In this way, changes in the requirements for components can be implemented flexibly by adapting the material.
The use of building materials in additive manufacturing enables you to find new applications, also with regard to sustainability and individual design.
FIT is the first user worldwide to use selective cement activation (SCA) for the additive manufacturing of building components. As with Binder jetting, SCA involves spraying an aqueous activator from a print head onto a thin layer of powder along the contours of the component, causing the individual particles to bond. A new layer is then applied and the component is built up three-dimensionally layer by layer. The starting material is econit, a cementitious material with excellent functional properties, comparable to concrete and in some cases even surpassing its characteristics. Other materials such as Portland cement and geopolymers are currently under development. By adding a wide variety of aggregates such as sand, brick chippings, expanded clay, wood chips, rice grains, or straw, a wide range of esthetic, functional, or technical material properties can be specifically obtained, with effects on density, compressive strength, thermal or sound insulation of the building components.
Radically innovative building
With SCA, individual, freely shaped precast elements up to a size of 4 m or 10 m³ can be produced without formwork. The components have a high level of detail accuracy (layer thickness 1-2 mm), are dimensionally stable, free of warpage, weatherproof, exceptionally hard, and, due to the base material, mineral and fire-retardant. Depending on the composition of the components, they are recyclable, CO2-neutral, and sustainable, as wood and other renewable raw materials can be used as aggregates. If desired, the components can be colored through with lightfast, UV-resistant paints. SCA is ideal for e.g.:
Robotic AM works according to the principle of classic FDM (Fused deposition modeling), using an extruder as well, with the difference that the extruder is attached to a swiveling robot arm. Part size is not subject to the dimensions of a building chamber, but depends on the robot arm's action radius of 3 m. Like this, significantly larger objects become feasible. The 6- or 8-axis industrial robots enable precise and individual material placement at the highest level of complexity. For Robotic FDM, the material suitable is plastic granulate in a wide variety; with our open software workflow and a customizable and project-specific material management system, we can print materials ranging from carbon fiber reinforced polymers to synthetic wood. Even smooth material transitions, e.g. from glass-fiber-reinforced ABS to polycarbonate, can be implemented. Speaking of metal, the variant of Robotic WAAM combines robotic technology with WAAM, using weldable wires as the material.
High versatility for large-format custom products
The production of individual objects or one-offs requires a high level of technical expertise with regard to process development since a separate manufacturing process with specific process parameters (material, adjustment of temperatures and build-up rates, etc.) must be implemented for each project. The basis for this is usually the programming of special algorithms for controlling the robots. FIT, therefore, has specially trained software specialists. Robotic FDM is ideal for e.g.:
In ceramic printing, which is based on the principle of binder jetting, a liquid binder is sprayed from a print head, similar to an inkjet printer, in layers along the component contours onto a ceramic powder, causing the individual particles to stick together. The material used is Amcelain, a special ceramic powder developed for this technology. After manufacturing, the green compacts are fired for the first time. A coating is then applied to prevent the glaze from penetrating, and the components are fired a second time. Finally, the components are glazed by hand, with a wide variety of colors available, before being fired in the kiln for the last time. Compared to the conventional production of ceramic objects, Ceramic printing impresses with its enormous freedom of design. Unique pieces, special or small series can be produced comparatively inexpensively using this technology, and delivery times can be reduced from several weeks to just a few days.
Ceramic design objects
Ceramic printing is used to produce individual components with high precision and complex geometries. The components are heat-resistant and waterproof, provided they are fully glazed, but not dishwasher-safe. Due to a minimal wall thickness of 3 mm, complex geometries with low mechanical load capacity (density ~ 60%) are possible. Ceramic printing is hence ideal for e.g.:
You want it bigger? No problem. We also build your large-format component disassembled into individual parts, which we professionally assemble and pre-install for you into a stable whole.Learn more >
Add color to the game! We paint your components semi-automatically in 10 standard colors. You want a special color? No problem at all. Just tell us which one.Learn more >
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