Use case Zetamix 3D printing: an effective and low-cost internal solution.

New possibilities with Zetamix filament.

In industries such as medical, automotive, aerospace or semiconductor, the use of parts with complex geometries and in small quantities is common. One must nevertheless note that these kind of parts and geometries are very often impracticable with traditional ways.

We need High-Tech ceramic parts. Making such tailored parts in this material is very difficult because of very high costs involved, especially for small series,” stresses Bastien Brethez,
R&D Engineer and Maintenance Manager at Nanoe.

His role is to regularly monitor the proper functioning of Nanoe’s equipment and infrastructure.
As part of preventive maintenance, Bastien intended to change the rotary nozzle head of Nanoe spray dryer. However, the supplier of spare parts could no longer manufacture this part.
On the other side switching a supplier involves supplementary steps and long delays, he says.

That’s when Zetamix 3D printing comes in!

Nanoe company launches the first ever ceramic and metal desktop 3D printing system.
For this printer, Zetamix filaments are suitable for any FDM technologies.

It is now possible to print parts with filaments which contain more than 80%w of ceramic or metal powder and a polymer matrix and a ceramic or metal powder.

Depending on the application or need, it is important to choose suitable materials to ensure wear resistance, corrosion resistance and the lifetime of manufactured advanced components.

So far, Nanoe has developed filaments loaded with alumina, white zirconia, black zirconia, ZTA, stainless steel. Materials such as silicon carbide, silicon nitride, and tungsten carbide are in development.

The printed parts are chemically debinded in acetone and then sintered in a furnace.

This technology offers manufacturers an efficient solution:

«After investigation, considering the complex geometry of the parts and the shrinkage due to the sintering, we have decided to carry out twelve plots in zirconia by FDM 3D printing. The stainless-steel parts were made by a boilermaker based on 3D modelling”, explained Bastien.

Specifications of the ceramic part:

A zirconia part in conical shape is drilled from side to side, to be made into a screwed sandwich between the two-metal plates that we see on the image of the complete nozzle assembly.

The plots were quite easy to make with FDM 3D printer at once. The twelve parts had to be exactly the same weight in order to avoid an unbalanced nozzle. Thus, Zetamix filaments could be used for tooling, prototyping, and small batches of products.

It is important to bear in mind that depending on the material and the geometry of the finished part, several forming steps may be necessary. As a one-point solution, Zetamix 3D printing has many advantages including but not limited to time and cost.

Key success factors for this process:

  • 15 minutes of 3D printing
  • 1 week to sinter the part
  • Low cost to make the ceramic part

It generally takes several months between the time a supplier is contacted and the actual part delivered because of the preparation and validation of estimate, sourcing, manufacturing and delivery times. Nanoe estimated that the sourcing of this part would have cost 3960€ against 100€ with our internal Zetamix solution.

This being a common concern across industries and Nanoe works with its customers to remedy this situation, to ensure quality performance and to reduce their product development lead times by facilitating prototyping with end-use materials. By opting Zetamix 3D printing, one can create and produce custom replacement parts on demand with significantly lower costs.