Journal of Materials Research and Technology (Nov 2021)

Additive manufacturing of structural ceramics: a historical perspective

  • Joshua S. Pelz,
  • Nicholas Ku,
  • Marc A. Meyers,
  • Lionel R. Vargas-Gonzalez

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 15
pp. 670 – 695


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Additive manufacturing (AM) has created a new era of digital manufacturing, where engineering practices, computer-aided design platforms, and part sourcing pipelines are dramatically changing. AM techniques are capable of producing plastic, metal, and ceramic components for both prototyping and end-use purposes. In this review, the fabrication of dense, structural advanced ceramic components using the seven families of additive manufacturing is discussed through a historical perspective. Initial studies on additive manufacturing of ceramic materials were reported just a few years after those of metal and plastic materials. However, industrial application of ceramic additive manufacturing is more than a decade behind metallic and plastic materials. Many of the challenges of ceramic AM can be traced back to the intrinsic difficulties of processing structural ceramic materials, including high processing temperatures, defect-sensitive mechanical properties, and poor machining characteristics. To mature the field of ceramic AM, future research and development should focus on expanding material selection, improving printing and post-processing control, realizing single-step processing, and unique capabilities such as multi-material and hybrid processing.