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Ceramic resin - FormLabs

RS-FORM-CERAMIC

Formlabs

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Experimental resin that allows printing pieces with a ceramic look and feel.

FormLabs has developed an experimental product platform called Form X. This platform presents innovative tools, materials and approaches for advanced users who want to explore the limits and options that stereolithography offers.

Ceramic Resin is the first material included in FormLabs' Form X platform. This material allows you to print pieces with a ceramic look and feel. This is because ceramic resin is a resin composed of a photopolymer filled with silica microparticles. This resin also has unique properties, since the pieces printed with this material can be sintered to create a totally ceramic piece.

Image 1: Pieces printed with FormLabs Ceramic resin. Source: FormLabs.

This is experimental material, which means it requires a more pronounced learning and testing process than other FormLabs products. The Ceramic resin formulation is optimized for reliable and detailed prints.

Among the properties of Ceramic resin, it should be noted that it supports printing resolutions of 100 and 50 microns, being able to print pieces with a great finish and high level of detail.

Successful printing with Ceramic resin requires certain additional precautions, such as the use of a polyester film to protect the build platform.

Ceramic Resin does not require post-curing. However, parts must be fully dry before sintering. 

When sintering parts printed with this material, different factors must be taken into account, such as shrinkage. In the baking process, the printed parts will shrink by around 15% on the X and Y axes, and 29% on the Z axis.

For more information about the calcining and sintering process of the pieces, see the article “Firing and glazing Ceramic Resin”.

In the download section you can download the user guide to expand the information about the use and the steps to follow to print parts with FormLabs Ceramic resin.

Thanks to this type of materials, FormLabs gives the user freedom to research and search for new approaches in 3D printing with SLA technology.

Elongation at break (%) 1.4
Tensile strength (MPa) 5.1
Tensile modulus (MPa) 1030
Flexural strength (MPa) 10.3
Flexural modulus (MPa) 994.6
Hide color variations (Hide color variations)

Here below, a series of usage tips that must be taken into account at all times with the use of FormLabs resins are cited:

Change cartridge

Changing the resin cartridge of the FormLabs printers is very simple, just close the top cap of the ventilation duct (vent) and remove the cartridge by holding it by the handle it has. Then the other is inserted and the vent plug is opened in case an impression is to be started. To avoid drips through the 3D printer, this process must always be carried out with the resin tank mounted.

Tapón de ventilación FormLabs

Image 1: Ventilation cap for FormLabs cartridges. Source: FormLabs

After finishing each print, the top cap must be closed so that the resin maintains its properties. In addition, if the printer is not used for some time, the cartridge should be stored in its original box to keep the properties of the resin intact.

Resin tank

Each type of resin should have its own resin tank, which should be changed after using 2L of resin. Ceramic resin is compatible with the standard Form 2 resin tank.Tanque de Resina LT de FormLabs

Image 2: FormLabs Resin Tank LT. Source: FormLabs

To protect and store the excess resin in the tank after each printing, FormLabs supplies a lid that ensures a perfect closure. Once the tank is closed, it is recommended to store it (with resin and lid) in the original box so that the resin doesn't lose its properties when exposed to UV rays for a long time. Another point to keep in mind is that the tanks can't be cleaned with any cleaning product or similar (for example, isopopyl alcohol), since they lose certain qualities that can cause continuous failed impressions.

Failed printing

When an error occurs in printing may be because solid parts of a previous printing have fallen to the resin tank. In this case, a spatula at 45° must be passed through the printing tank, gathering all the solid parts in a corner and removing them. To ensure that the tank resin doesn't contain any solid parts, the resin should be cast with a 190 μm paper filter. Once cast, it is put back into the tank and it is ready to be used again.

Video 1: Clean resin tank. Source: FormLabs

Isopropyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is the key to the washing and post-processing of parts and you should know when it is time to change it. In the Finish Kit the moment to change it's when the IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) is so saturated with resin particles, that after washing the pieces are still sticky. At that point you must remove all the liquid, clean the container well and throw new IPA, but never fill in on the previous one.

Finish Kit FormLabs

Image 3: Finish Kit FormLabs. Source: FormLabs

If you wish you can hire our SLA 3D printing training courses (online or in person) by contacting us through the contact form. The training is oriented to obtain a wide knowledge and know how to use the 3D SLA FormLabs printers from the beginning and thus avoid major errors.

General information
Manufacturer FormLabs (Massachusetts, USA)
Technology  SLA / LFS
Material Photopolymer
Wavelength UV 405 nm
Format 1 liter
Compatible 3D printers Form 2
Compatible resin tanks Form 2
Print setting
100 and 50 microns 
Exposure Time It is not necessary to configure the printing parameters in the Formlabs printers. The chip incorporated in the resin cartridges detects the type of material by configuring the printing automatically.
Off time
Lifting height
Bottom exposure
Bottom layers
Curing and washing properties
Washing time (FormWash) No washing required.
Curing time (FormCure) No curing required.
Mechanical properties (without curing / with curing)
Izod impact strength (ASTM D256-10) -
Charpy impact strength -
Elongation at break (ASTM D 638-10) 1.4%
Tensile strength (ASTM D 638-10) 5.1 MPa
Tensile Modulus (ASTM D638-10)

1030 MPa
Sintered: 5000 MPa

Flexural strength (ASTM D 790-15)

10.27 MPa
Sintered: 33.5 MPa

Flexural modulus  (ASTM C790-10) 994.6 MPa
Surface hardness (ASTM 2240) -
Thermal properties (without curing / with curing)
Softening temperature (ASTM D 648-16 / @ 0.45 MPa) -
Additional Information
Lifetime (since manufacturing) 12 months
HS Code 2916.1


* The typical values detailed in this table should be considered as a reference. Actual values may vary depending on the 3D printer model used, part design and printing conditions. We recommend confirming the results and final properties with own tests. For more information you should consult the technical data sheet of the product.

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