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New Lithoz CeraFab Lab to boost advanced ceramic research at Penn State University

  • Lithoz GmbH, world leader in ceramic 3D printing, has recently installed a CeraFab Lab L30 at the Penn State facilities
  • The Penn State Materials Research Institute is a leader in state-of-the-art ceramic research and view this new technology as key in unlocking even further research
  • Penn State will develop parts such as custom scientific tools, solving the problem of costly tool sourcing via in-house 3D printing
  • The CeraFab Lab L30 was launched in 2020 as Lithoz’s answer to effective entry into the growing ceramic 3D printing market

27th June 2023: Vienna, Austria. Lithoz GmbH, world market and innovation leader in ceramic 3D printing, has delivered a CeraFab Lab L30 to Penn State University, whose Materials Research Institute is on the forefront of state-of-the-art ceramic research. With the installation of this Lithoz 3D printer, material researchers at Penn State will now have access to the most advanced capabilities and necessary tools to easily produce high-resolution ceramic parts and drive their research even further.

“This will be part of a user facility here at Penn State, in the Nanofabrication Lab,” said Amira Meddeb, associate research professor in the Materials Research Institute. “The number one reason we acquired it is to allow more capabilities not just for the Penn State community but for our extended user community that we work with including other higher education institutions and industry.”

The CeraFab Lab L30, as an entry-level machine, is not only able to print a wide variety of ceramic materials that are in Lithoz’s materials library, but also can print custom materials. A condensed version of the industrial-scale CeraFab System S65 printer, the Lab retains all the power of Lithoz’s Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) technology, enabling the production of very high-resolution parts and full density of ceramics that would be comparable in properties and microstructure to ceramics that are made by traditional manufacturing methods. Material can easily be swapped out for different projects, and it is ‘relatively simple to learn how to use the printer, especially for someone with a traditional ceramics processing background’, as said by Penn State.

The printer rounds out the research offerings provided by the Materials Research Institute, according to Chad Eichfeld, associate research professor and director of operations in the Nanofabrication Lab. “We can work with researchers to do the design of the material, the 3D printing of the material, but you can also do the characterization here,” Eichfeld said. “Having all of that together lets you actually do the rapid iterations of ceramic production that are necessary for our researchers’ success.”

A printed part made using LithaLox 350 (aluminium oxide), showing the Lion Shrine and Beaver Stadium as hallmarks of Penn State University.

“While ceramics are typically extremely hard to traditionally manufacture and are so delicate, this LCM technology really enables the production of multiple iterations of a part with different geometries and dimensions until you achieve the part you need,” stated Shawn Allan, Vice President of Lithoz America. “Using this machine, it will be possible for Penn State to produce custom scientific tools for other researchers such as custom-designed crucibles and microreactors, which until now have been costly or difficult to source. This will therefore further the work and efforts of the entire research team.”

Along with research benefits, Eichfeld noted that the new printer has a lot of potential for materials education at Penn State. “Penn State is a hands-on educational institution,” Eichfeld said. “At other universities some of the processing that is done in Amira’s lab and my lab you might give to a technician, and they would do the work for you. But we are all hands on. That is powerful, with our graduate students and even some undergraduates getting hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology here. That experience will be really rewarding for them as they begin their career.“

About Penn State

Penn State is a multi-campus, land-grant, public research University that educates students from around the world, and supports individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service. We are an R1 university, a classification given by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Higher Education to the very best research universities in America, reaching a record $1.034 billion in research expenditures during fiscal year 2021-22. Our discovery-oriented, collaborative and interdisciplinary research and scholarship promote human and economic development, global understanding and advancement in professional practice through the expansion of knowledge and its applications in the natural and applied sciences, social and behavioral sciences, engineering, technology, arts and humanities, and myriad professions. Our instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, continuing and extension education, offered through both resident instruction and distance learning. Our educational programs are enriched by the talent, knowledge, diversity, creativity and teaching and research acumen of our faculty, students and staff.  As Pennsylvania’s land-grant university, Penn State provides unparalleled access to education and public service to support the citizens of the commonwealth and beyond. We engage in collaborative activities with private sector, educational and governmental partners worldwide to generate, integrate, apply and disseminate knowledge that is valuable to society. 

Lithoz Contact: Alice Elt +43 660 1563231 / aelt@lithoz.com

Featured image from left to right: Shawn Allan (Lithoz America), Charles Rafalko (Penn State), Ryan Fordham (Lithoz America), Lach Peeke (Penn State), Amira Meddeb (Penn State).


17.04. – 19.04.2024
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17.04. – 19.04.2024