Equipment & control architectures for Additive Manufacturing of high-performance ceramics

Additive Manufacturing, commonly known as 3D Printing, is a relatively new production method in which parts are fabricated in an additive, layer-by-layer fashion. This project’s research goal is to develop equipment and integrated control architectures for the Additive Manufacturing of high-performance industrial-scale ceramic products.

PhD Candidate: ir. Thomas Hafkamp
Supervisors: L.F.P. Etman, A.G. de Jager, ir. G. van Baars (TNO)
Promotor: M. Steinbuch
Project Financing: TNO
Project Period: March 2016 – March 2020

Many different Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies have emerged over the past 30 years, each incorporating a large variety of material transformation methods into an even larger variety of machines. Vat photopolymerization is one of the first and most popular AM processes and has been successfully used to produce functional parts from engineering ceramics.

To serve the high tech industry’s needs, AM equipment has to scale up to larger product sizes and higher product quality. This calls for AM equipment development, supported by research into modelling, sensing, and control of industrial AM processes. Regarding control, it is clear that AM equipment control needs to develop from current, mostly open-loop, control to closed-loop control architectures. This project aims to close the loop on the process level by developing novel control strategies and equipment concepts through a systems engineering approach.