The French graduate-level engineering school Sigma Clermont, Aubière, has purchased the Admaflex130 Additive Manufacturing machine from Admatec Europe BV, Goirle, the Netherlands, in order to gain heightened flexibility in material development. The AM machine uses a form of Vat Photopolymerisation (VPP) to process both ceramics and metals.
The organisation is currently developing bioceramic materials like hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral form of calcium apatite. Up to 70% by weight of human bone is a modified form of hydroxyapatite, known as bone mineral. Carbonated calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite is the main mineral of which dental enamel and dentin are composed. To shape this type of material into 3D geometries, Sigma has been working with ceramic Additive Manufacturing and post-processing equipment, such as cleaning equipment for use with bespoke medical implants.
The Admaflex130 was selected because it allows the optimisation of all settings to newly developed slurries, before and during the build job. The machine features a visual monitoring system for a fully traceable build process. Although Sigma’s current focus is on bioceramics, it did note that the machine is also capable of additively manufacturing metals.
The geometry of the demonstrator part (pictured above) was selected to illustrate the suitability of the Admaflex130 to manufacture complex medical implants. The supports were produced with automatic support generation software, a standard feature in the latest Admaflex user software.