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The event “Additive Manufacturing Ceramics” will be taking place on September 26th and 27th 2016 for the very first time. The two-day event focuses on the successful integration of additive manufacturing ceramics in the company and is organized in cooperation with Lithoz, the German Ceramic Society, Cluster Werkstoff Keramik, Bayern Innovativ, as well as the specialist media 3Druck.com, Ceramic Applications and the CFI.
The goals of this new series of events concerning “additive manufacturing of ceramic and the successful integration and economical application for companies” are explained by Johannes Homa, the event's technical director, in the following interview.
What was the motivation for you to kick-start this event?
Ceramic additive manufacturing has the potential to radically change the market. The available manufacturing systems for ceramic have reached an advanced stage already and present a real alternative and a sensible addition to conventional manufacturing methods.
This tendency of development has awakened great interest in industry and research, but also great uncertainty. Many potential users still don't understand how to they want to address the issue or what chances or risks are in store for their company.
The technology isn't the all-in-one solution that it is made out to be. It is therefore necessary to offer insight to potential users into the subject matter and to uncover whether the technology is practicable for their company or application. In order for a company to take the next step, they must receive clarification and relevant information.
Many of the events surrounding this topic miss a certain depth. Giving an overview of the various manufacturing technologies is not sufficient. One must rather take an in-depth look into the subject matter.
This event does not aim to whitewash a new technology, or advertise it, but rather to offer a closer look at ceramic AM and to allow the networking of all relevant stakeholders. Not meant as a once-in-a-lifetime affair, this event is set to be an annual benchmark for the AM ceramic community.
Why is ceramic material the focus of your event?
While AM procedures for plastic and metal have already established themselves within the market, the ceramics industry has only just begun its journey. One of the reasons for this delay were the particular challenges that ceramic materials pose for the development of adequate manufacturing technologies. Ceramic is a rather difficult material to process especially when the manufactured components need to feature high density and great stability.
Some companies have already successfully overcome this hurdle. Schunk Ingenierkeramik, for instance, is another company that offers an excellent manufacturing process for ceramic AM. It is a sensible addition to conventional manufacturing methods, especially when realizing complex component geometries. However, other industries that have so far worked with other materials, can profit from the possibility of ceramic additive manufacturing.
What would you say is the added value of changing to ceramic for companies that have been working with metal or similar materials so far?
Here is my standard reply to that question: Because ceramic material can be put to use where other materials fail. This isn't some empty phrase but a fact. Because of its material properties, ceramic excels in extreme circumstances such as high temperatures or corrosive environments. Ceramic is highly wear-resistant and has great isolation and insulation properties. Especially in the field of aeronautics, but also in the chemical industry, the use of ceramic offers a number of improved and more durable applications.
An additional advantage of this material is its high biocompatibility. In the medical industry, for example, this results in ceramic implants that don't cause allergic reactions and, in comparison to their metallic counterparts, won't cause pain when exposed to heat (through direct sunlight or warm showers, for instance) due to their low thermal conductivity. The range of ceramic materials and their outstanding material properties make ceramic an excellent alternative for many industries and applications.
What kind of economic gain can ceramic 3D printing have for a company?
While there are, as already mentioned, many successful instances in other areas of AM, the ceramic additive manufacturing industry is still looking for innovative application ideas. That is why the subject ceramic and application development is an integral part of “AM Ceramics 2016”. We are aiming to help our stakeholders accomplish similar success stories to that of the hearing aid shell. While hearing aids used to be strenuously manufactured by hand, almost 98% of hearing aid shells today are made using AM. This resulted in considerable time and expense saving during production. The use of additive manufacturing in this field revolutionized the market. However, applying AM doesn't only facilitate the emergence of innovations, it can also influence a ceramic company's present day-to-day operations.
Which concrete advantages can companies expect when using ceramic additive manufacturing?
The foremost and most apparent advantage results in the fact that AM is a tool-free manufacturing process. This means that, in order to create a component, no specific tools need to be manufactured. Through the omission of costly toolmaking, the expenses of manufacturing single items and small batches can be drastically lowered. Consequently, personalizing products can be easily realized. Think, for instance, of manufacturing patient-specific implants. Product development can especially profit from the use of AM. Different prototypes can be produced rapidly and simultaneously and pre-series tests can be carried out under serial production conditions.
Since an STL file is all that is necessary to generate a component, design changes can be carried out quickly and easily directly on the computer. This not only enables the production of better products, but also drastically minimizes TTM. The production of prototypes using AM procedures has already established itself as the conventional manufacturing method on today's market.
Further interesting AM applications for a company are the production of more functional parts. Here we focus on functional integration. Functional integration facilitates the production of more complex component geometries. This basically means that, instead of assembling single elements, a part is developed that combines the necessary elements in itself. In this way, one can not only cut down on large installation costs, but also eliminate potential sources of error and enhance a component's durability.
In order to accurately identify the advantages and potential of this technology, it is also necessary to take a closer look at the limitations of AM. Not every application, not every company needs an additive manufacturing system. This is another area, where “AM Ceramics 2016” strives to offer clarification and dispel popular myths. We wish to approach the topic in an open and critical way. There's no use in promising advantages that the technology can't offer. Not only would this destroy a customer's expectations but would also have an adverse effect on the market.
You speak of myths that need to be dispelled. Can you give a specific example?
Off the top of my head I can think of the myth that when using AM, no design rules or limitations need to be considered. This is of course not true. Like any other manufacturing technology, AM has rules that need to be obeyed. However, if one adheres to these rules, one can make parts that cannot be produced using other manufacturing techniques. When we speak of complexity in this context, we don't mean esthetic elements, but functionality enhancement. An example would be internal curved channels. These can only be manufactured using AM.
Also, it is often necessary to change the existing application geometry, not only for manufacturing, but also to enhance the component's functionality. The capability of rethinking older designs and restructuring them according to new design possibilities can be a challenging undertaking for companies. Approaches that seem set in stone due to the limitations that other manufacturing processes entail, need to be deconstructed and a new method of construction has to be learned. Here, the assistance of AM design experts is necessary to set companies thinking about new approaches, but also to present practical examples. Talking alone won't help in this matter, but applicable examples can help demonstrate new design possibilities.
We are hoping to establish the additive manufacturing of high-performance ceramics as a conventional manufacturing process in the market. To accomplish this, it is necessary for all those interested to receive appropriate, informative training. Solely selling machines and materials would, in this respect, be far too short-sighted. System providers and users need to able to to meet on an equal footing and to work together along the entire process chain to make these technologies utilizable for companies. And that is exactly what “AM Ceramics 2016” offers.
Please find further information on this conference here: AM CERAMICS 2016
We are pleased to announce that as of February 2016 Lithoz has been certified for the development, manufacture and distribution of production machinery and material for the additive manufacture of high-performance ceramics in accordance with ISO 9001:2015.
Johannes Homa is proud of the newly acquired quality award: “This certification not only portrays another successful chapter in Lithoz' portfolio but also shows how important quality control, improvement and development are to us. A customer-oriented approach not only helps support one's own company but also greatly contributes to the further development of the applied technology.
It is through clearly defined responsibilities and transparent processes that we promote our staff's motivation, which in turn results in continuous quality assurance.”
The quality management norm ISO 9001 is nationally and internationally one of the most important standards in quality management. This pivotal quality management norm specifies the requirements for a quality management system. The QM system helps a company clarify its ability in creating products and services adapted to individual customer requests. This certification puts customer satisfaction at the centre of Lithoz' business objectives.
“A customer-oriented approach not only helps support one's own company but also greatly contributes to the further development of the applied technology.”
Our quality management representative Nicolaus Prem is very pleased with the current course and states: “In this day and age, professionalization is everything when working towards long-term success. The ISO certification has helped us shape a future-oriented organizational structure. The certificate as such, however, is only the first step on a path of continual improvement that we wish to follow persistently from here on out.”
For more information on quality management, click here.
The reasons behind wanting material that has been specially adapted to fit your needs are as manifold as the possible uses of the LCM technology! They range from a demand of ceramic material for prototype production for tests all the way to complex challenges, which require the production of materials with specific properties. Companies have often adjusted their processes to fit certain powder qualities, which subsequently requires the use of their own material.
Material Tailored to Fit your Needs
We at Lithoz strive to understand our customers' diverse requirements and to create customized solutions together, which ensure that any complex challenges can be overcome. That's why, next to selling our standard materials (TCP, Al2O3, ZrO2), Lithoz also offers to develop customized ceramic materials.
Material Development through the Adaptation of Technology
The CeraFab-system offers Lithoz' costumers an open system, with which a variety of ceramic materials can be processed. This makes it possible to utilize a costumer's individual powder without adopting it – for, compared to other procedures, Lithoz pursues the approach of adapting its technology to the costumer's powder and not vice versa!
To generate customized materials, the necessary adaptations to the process and the organic binder component are made on the basis of a feasibility study. This enables the production of high quality products.
Cautious handling of sensitive information and strict adherence to confidentiality is a matter of great importance to Lithoz.
A Wide Spectrum of Materials and Professional Expertise
Many years of experience in research and development have resulted in great expertise in the area of glass ceramics and oxides. Furthermore, the process is also suitable for manufacturing highly viscous photopolymers.
Generally speaking, the LCM technology is suited to process all powderlike and sinterable powders. This has led to processing a wide spectrum of costumer-specific materials with the LCM approach over the last years. What has to be considered, however, is that certain powders can come with restrictions. Our in-house experts will gladly give you a consult on these matters.
Have we aroused your interest? If you want to find out more on costumer-specific material development and feasibility studies, contact Mr. Peter Schneider (firstname.lastname@example.org) and receive a nonbinding consult.
At this year’s Ceramitec Lithoz is going to present its latest innovation – the CeraFab8500. The system operates with the trusted LCM-Technology of Lithoz that stands for high quality in additive manufacturing of high-performance ceramic components with the same material properties as in conventional production.
Elegant Design combined with the technology for the future
The CeraFab 8500 is a reliable and userfriendly Plug & Play network – printer that works as a stand-alone system, independently from other devices. The system has an intuitive user interface and a functional design (Footprint: Gewicht 250 kg, size: 1.2 m x 0.6 m x 1,8 m). The LED-based exposure unit does not require any special safety precautions to operate the machine.
With a building envelope of 115 mm x 64 mm x 150 mm and a lateral resolution of 60 μm, the CeraFab 8500 is especially suited for the manufacturing of larger components. Johannes Patzer, CTO of Lithoz, explains, “The CeraFab 8500 has been developed to meet the requirements and wishes of our customers to produce larger components with our LCM-Technology. Another advantage of the larger building envelope is that now an even larger number of components can be produced at the same time.“ Like the CeraFab 7500, also the new model, the CeraFab 8500 generates the components directly from the CAD-files and tool-free. It allows design variations and highly individual geometries within one working cycle of the manufacturing process.
Resource-efficient production method from lot size 1
During the development process of the new CeraFab-Systems the focus was again on keeping energy consumption and material costs low. The CeraFab 8500 uses a LED-based exposure unit to generate the layer information and shows the same energy requirements than an conventional PC. The special bottom-up-positioning (exposure from the bottom through a transparent trough) requires only as much material as is necessary for the production of the layers and the remaining material can be reused.
Johannes Homa is very proud of Lithoz‘ latest innovation, “The system is suited perfectly for the serial production of high-performance ceramics. At the same time it offers the possibility for companies to produce cost-efficient prototypes and small scale series for their research and development departments, which reduces time-to-market considerably.“
The official launch of the new machine will take place at this year’s Ceramitec, the international key trade show for technical ceramics and raw powder metallurgy. At the company’s stand Lithoz will not only present the new CeraFab 8500, but also a number of Best Practise examples. The team of Lithoz is happy to provide you with all the information you need about our complete systems and the latest material developments.
Do you have specific questions or would you like a personal consultation with one of our team? Please write an email today to: email@example.com and make an appointment. We look forward to your visit at our Stand B1.330 at the Ceramitec.
In the course of the “Austrian Journey into the Future of Nanotechnology“ to China at the beginning of September 2015 Lithoz m the first important step on the way to establishing the LCM-Technology in China.
In the presence of Professor Zhangzhengjun, Professor Panwei and Professor Liuwei and Johannes Homa, CEO of Lithoz, a cooperation agreement between Tsinghua University, Department for Material Sciences and Engineering in Bejing and Lithoz was signed. Tsinghua University is shortly going to start operating its first CeraFab of the Austrian company and it is going to open up the Chinese market to the Additive Manufacturing of high-performance ceramics.
Tsinghua University is one of the most important institutions for the promotion of talent and scientific research in China. The Department for Material Sciences and Engineering of Tsinghua University was founded in 1988 and has several top-class laboratories, e.g. the State Key Laboratory for New Ceramics and the Key Laboratory for Advanced.
Professor James Shen and Professor Zhipeng Xie are going to take over the technical managment of the new technology. Dr. Johannes Homa, CEO of Lithoz says, “We are very proud about our cooperation with Tsinghua University, the most important University in China and we look forward to working together successfully in the future. Professor Xie and Prof. Shen will contribute considerably to establish Additive Manufacturing of ceramics in China and support the industry with the implementation of the new technology.“
Beginning of April is the time: the structual alteration works for the extension of Lithoz GmbH are going to start to a full extent. Just in time for the 1st anniversary of moving into the new headquarters the building work for the new additional premises will be completed.
Reason for the extension of Lithoz is, in addition to the healthy economic growth of the company, the increased demand for the products and services of Lithoz. Johannes Patzer, CEO of Lithoz, said: "We are delighted with the extremely positive development especially in recent months. Our expansion will create new office space, storage areas and an even larger area for our research and development work. As a result, we create more space for further developments and innovations here at Lithoz!"
Next to the operational expansion there are also plans for additions our staff, particularly in the area of application development. Lithoz employs a network of experts covering the entire process chain directly in the company. As a result, the company not only offers a complete system for the production of advanced ceramics, but also a high level of expertise in the development and implementation of customized projects.
Also Johannes Homa, CEO of Lithoz is very pleased with the developments in the company. Particularly with regard to the choice of the company location Mr. Homa is very satisfied, "With our premises in Mollard-Hof, Lithoz is located right in the heart of Vienna. The Mollard-Hof offers excellent opportunities for start-up companies to grow and develop further. Especially with the support of the board of trustees the necessary extension of Lithoz can be realized quickly.”
The Mollard-Hof looks back on a long history. It was built in 1908 by the Emperor Franz Josef I Jubilee Fund and has been home for generations of growing small- and medium-sized enterprises. The unique ambience of this listed building gives Lithoz a special charm and also bears witness to the long industrial tradition in Vienna.
At this year’s Euromold conference, Lithoz presents a new material for the patented LCM-Technology, used for ceramic casting cores. This is a new milestone for the Vienna based company and outlines the possibilities for application development.
„Our LCM-Technology allows the production of ceramic cores of outstanding quality. We offer a cost-efficient and fast production technology for investment casting of turbine engine components”, says Dr. Johannes Homa, CEO of Lithoz.
The advantages at a glance:
- Fast and cost efficient production without hard tooling
- Realization of highly complex structures, e.g. undercuts
- Reduced material consumption allows fast leaching of cores
- Very fine details like slits, gaps and struts
- Outstanding surface quality
- Very high green strength
Tailor-made customer solutions and material development
Tailor-made material development is another strength of Lithoz’ company portfolio. Johannes Patzer, CTO of Lithoz, outlines that aspect, “The LCM-technology enables the processing of standard materials as well as materials specifically designed for our customers, and we can provide them with an additional technology for their specific demands.”
Ceramic cores are predominantly used for the investment casting of nickel-based superalloys of turbine engine components. The main applications for ceramic cores are in the aerospace and industrial turbines industries that will benefit most from the unique features produced with the LCM-Technology.
Please come and visit us at hall 11, stand B140 at the Euromold Conference - we look forward to meeting you! In order to assure sufficient time for any questions or ideas you would like to discuss, we kindly ask you to contact us for an appointment via e-mail.
Dr. Hans J. Langer, founder of the high-tech-company EOS, is the new partner of Lithoz GmbH.
Lithoz, the world's first system provider for the additive manufacturing of high-performance ceramics, is pleased to announce that Dr. Hans J. Langer, a highly respected partner, has invested in the company. In his role as founder and CEO, he has made the high-tech company EOS the world leader in the field of laser sintering and his participation in Lithoz underlines the high potential of the technology of Lithoz.
Dr. Johannes Homa, CEO and founder of Lithoz, announced with some pride, "In the past three years Lithoz has managed to establish a new an innovative production method in the field of high-performance ceramics. Through our partnership with Dr. Langer our work finds special recognition and our future growth opportunities will increase significantly."
Crucial for Dr. Langer’s participation at Lithoz was the unique technology of Lithoz. The LCM-technology makes it possible for the first time to produce high-quality and fully functional high-performance ceramic components by using an additive manufacturing process. High-performance ceramics are often considered the material of the future. Many companies are already convinced of the economic and technical advantages of the patented technology of Lithoz.
Dr. Hans J. Langer is convinced, "With Lithoz we have found a competent partner who will complement our product range ideally in the future. While EOS is the world leader in the field of laser sintering of metals and plastics, the technology of Lithoz will open up a variety of new technical applications in the field of high-performance ceramics. In my opinion there is great potential for high-performance ceramics in aerospace and medical applications."
Dr. Johannes Patzer, CTO and founder of Lithoz agrees, "Because of their outstanding properties, high-perfomrance ceramics are used wherever other materials fail. This applies, for example, to commponents that are used in corrosive environments or components that are exposed to extreme tribological environments and high temperatures."
High-performance ceramics are not only used in the automotive or the aerospace industry, but they are more and more frequently used in medical technology. Lithoz’ recently developed material LithaBone is particularly suitable as bone replacement material due to its similarity to the mineral phase of human bone and its osteoconductive properties.
About Dr. Hans J. Langer:
The portfolio of Dr. Hans J. Langer companies includes beside EOS several other important companies in the field of additive manufacturing and laser technology. As a business angel he also supports the creation and development of start-up companies in this area.
Lithoz GmbH is a spin-off of the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) and specializes in the development and production of additive manufacturing systems for the production of high- performance ceramic parts and the respective ceramic materials. The patented LCM-Technology of Lithoz allows the production of high-performance ceramic parts with arbitrary geometry with the same material properties as conventionally formed parts.
At the beginning of September 2014 Lithoz GmbH moved to new premises in Mollardgasse 85a/2/64-69 in the sixth district of Vienna.
The continuing growth of Lithoz and the increasing demand for our products was decisive for us to move to a new building which represents a further mile stone for the company.
“This is one further step into the future and just in time for our 3-year company anniversary. The new premises allow us to grow and improve services for our customers,” Dr. Johannes Homa, CEO says happily. Lithoz CTO, Dr. Johannes Patzer, confirms the positive aspects of the move, “Now we have more room at our disposal and we can take our research and development even further with new and innovative applications. This makes it possible to expand, especially in the area of specialized customer solutions.”
The Lithoz team looks forward to welcoming you in our new, modern and functional premises and endeavours to do the very best for our customers.
We look forward to your visit at our new premises.
We kindly ask you to update our address. All internet and email addresses remain unchanged. For contact via phone, please note that some numbers have changed. Should you have any questions, please call us at: +43 660 612 10 82
26 - 31 January 2014
Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
Lithoz is invited by the American Ceramic Society to give a presentation at the 38th International Conference & Exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC) which will take place in Daytona Beach, Florida 26th – 31st January 2014.
ICACC’14 topical areas include advanced structural and functional ceramics, composites and other emerging ceramic materials and technologies. The technical program consists of 13 symposia, 3 focused sessions, the 3rd Global Young Investigator Forum and the 2nd Pacific Rim Engineering Ceramics Summit. These technical sessions along with an Industry Exposition, will provide an open forum for scientists, researchers, engineers and industries from around the world to present and exchange findings on recent advances on various aspects related to ceramic science and technology.
Please find further information on this conference: http://ceramics.org/meetings/38th-international-conference-and-expo-on-advanced-ceramics-and-composites
3 - 6 December 2013
Lithoz will participate as exhibitor at the Euromold 2013 www.euromold.com. This worldwide leading fair in the in the areas of moldmaking and tooling, design and application development will take place for the 20th consecutive time.
The team of Lithoz is looking forward to presenting the company´s latest material development LithaCon (an yttria-stabilized zirconia). This material has an extraordinary strength and toughness and convinces due to its excellent tribological properties.
In addition we want to present you the CeraFab 7500 and would like to discuss with you about our LCM-Technology (Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing). Have a look at the variety of new parts and the various applications of this technology.
Please come and visit us at hall 11, stand B140 and see for yourself the high quality of our products.
In order to assure sufficient time for your matters, we kindly ask you to contact us to make an appointment by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
16 - 18 October 2013
Los Angeles, USA
This event will bring together key figures from the aerospace, leading vendors and developers of high performance additive platforms, materials and software providers, top fabrication shops, national labs and university R&D groups. A unique structure of having panel discussions take place by link in the supply chain will enable a coherent framing and update of issues from the perspective of each group of players, describing how they see the challenges, their current activities, and who they need to interact with to make headway on various items.
Lithoz will not only be represented by Dr. Homa, CEO of Lithoz GmbH in the panel discussion, but also by a presentation on “Additive Manufacturing of high-performance ceramics”.
The agenda can be found at:
9 - 10 October 2013
At the conference „Additive Manufacturing - Generative Fertigungstechnologien“ companies and research organisations will present solutions regarding reproducibility, dimensional accuracy and resistance for rough surroundings/environments and economical solutions for industrial manufacturing.
Additive Manufacturing of high-performance ceramics
- Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) – A new manufacturing process for the ceramical industry
- Production with lot/batch size 1 – same material properties as conventional production
- Which ceramical materials are suitable for the LCM- Technology?
You can find the programme (only available in German) at:
23 - 27 June 2013
Lithoz will participate at the ECERS conference in Limoges from 23rd to 27th June 2013. This biennial conference is organized by the European Ceramic Society and already takes place for the 13th time. Dr. Johannes Homa, CEO of Lithoz will give a presentation on „Solid freeform manufacturing of dense and precise ceramic structures“ on June 26th at 09:40.
We would also like to welcome you at our exhibition booth, Dr. Homa and Dr. Schwentenwein would be happy to meet you there.
18 – 20 March 2013
Lithoz will participate at this years´ Annual Meeting of the DKG (Deutsche Keramiken Gesellschaft – German Ceramics Association) which will take place in Weimar from 18th till 20th of March 2013.
The CEO Johannes Homa will represent the company. During these 3 days there will be plenty of opportunities for discussions and networking. Mr.Homa is looking forward to meeting you at the event in Weimar.
27- 30 November 2012
Frankfurt, Germany / Hall 11, Booth B140
For the first time Lithoz will be present at the main European event in the field of Additive Manufacturing Technologies. We are especially proud to present the new CeraFab 7500 manufacturing-system at our booth. Take the opportunity to see numerous new parts which have been fabricated using the new LCM-technology to show the countless application possibilities with this manufacturing process.
We will be happy to provide further information and answer your questions. Visit us directly at Hall 11, booth B140 and see the quality of this new technology for yourself.
28 September 2012
On Friday, September 28th Lithoz celebrates the company’s first anniversary and opens its doors for partners, customers and friends. At our buffet of seasonal delicacies and wine specialties from Burgenland our guests will have the opportunity to talk with our employees personally or have the chance to be shown around our premises.
The Lithoz-team looks forward to welcoming you!
Registration under: email@example.com
19 September 2012
At this year’s RPD user forum Lithoz will be represented by Johannes Patzer as one of the speakers. Apart from his lecture he is looking forward to a lively professional exchange and to provide further information to interested parties and potential customers at our company’s own exhibition booth.
The RPD user forum is one of the most important professional events in this field. It is organized by the Fraunhofer-Institute of Manufacturing Engineering and Automation. This event serves to present individual applications and trends to product development and quality management in the field of Additive Manufacturing Technologies.
19 - 21 September 2012
Johannes Homa will represent Lithoz at the iCAT 2012 in Maribor. Next to renowned experts such as Terry Wohlers or Dave Bourell Mr. Homa has been invited to give a lecture on the most recent developments at Lithoz. Apart from the technological background of the LCM-technology, Johannes Homa will focus on the diverse opportunities for research and industry that result from it.
The iCAT is aimed at experts, researchers and users from the field of Additive Manufacturing Technologies.