The inkjet printing technology has the unmatched advantage of being digital by its nature and can be employed as a digital construction kit in three dimensions. Compared to other additive manufacturing techniques, inkjet printing allows the production of multi-material parts at high resolution and throughput, especially thanks to the latest advancements in the technology. In this presentation, the inkjet-based process to produce high-density multi-colored 3D ceramic parts – as for instance for dental restorations – starting from ceramic slurries and support materials will be described. The work has been done in collaboration with Ivoclar Vivadent and funded by Innosuisse. Even if there is still a long way to go to make this process fully industrializable, the quality of the printed parts is surprisingly high, fulfilling the stringent requirements of the dental domain. This is just an example of how inkjet printing can nowadays be used for the industrial production in a variety of domains as the MedTech, starting from nanomaterials.
Gioele Balestra holds a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zurich and a PhD from EPFL. Gioele joined iPrint in 2019 to develop new digital deposition techniques and since July 2020 he is in charge of the applied research and educational activities of the institute and competence center.