Lithoz GmbH, based in Vienna, Austria, has announced that it has made a strategic financial investment in Amarea Technology, Dresden, Germany. Amerea Technology is a spin-off of Fraunhofer IKTS, the largest ceramics applied research institute in Europe, and has developed an Additive Manufacturing process that is able to use up to six different materials in a single build.
This Multi Material Jetting (MMJ) process is hoped to unlock new multidimensional combinations of various ceramics, metals, polymers and composites in both individual parts and functionally graded components.
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Inspired by Low Pressure Injection Moulding, the high-filled thermoplastic base material developed and supplied by Amarea Technology is dispensed drop by drop. Due to the nanolitre volume, the drops solidify in a fraction of a second, considerably speeding up the entire build process. Thanks to the selective droplet-based AM technology, parts are said to achieve a considerably higher level of accuracy, density and surface quality than parts produced with Material Extrusion (MEX) processes, for example. This allows a material change to take place every 200 μm so that highly functionalised components can be additively manufactured.
Beyond that, it is also possible to exactly define requested porosities at any selected position within the component. More than twenty-five different materials have already been introduced to the MMJ production technique, with the portfolio continuously growing, while important parameters such as filling levels, porosity, gradient, layer height and density can be freely and specifically defined.
Dr Johannes Homa, Lithoz CEO, stated, ‘With our proud acquisition of a strategic share in Amarea Technology, we can’t wait to see how our ultra-precise Lithoz LCM technology and Amarea Technology’s MMJ system pointing on maximum material diversity will work hand in hand to unlock previously unachievable potentials. This will create the next generation of multi-material 3D printed applications from the semiconductor to aerospace industry – as first inquiries have already proven.”
Steven Weingarten, Amarea Technology CEO, added, “The partnership with Lithoz and their belief in our technology inspire us. Lithoz’s global reputation and its successful path to becoming the market leader in ceramic 3D printing are a model for the mission we are now taking in the field of multi-material 3D printing. We would like to express our gratitude to Johannes Homa and Johannes Benedikt for their trust and look forward to the exciting journey together.”