Ceramic and Metal Component Prototyping
~ Functional Prototypes and Production ~

The CAM-LEM Process

CAM-LEM's Inteform Thinsheet process originates in a CAD model decomposed into boundary contours of thin slices.   The component is developed in a layered manner, then post-processed to yield optimum mechanical and surface properties. 

Solid Freeform Fabrication Processes
1. Solid CAD Model
2. Contour Representation
SFF Process
3. SFF Process
4. Post-Processing
5. Finished

In CAM-LEM individual slices of sheet stock engineering material (such as "green" ceramic tape) are laser-cut per the computed contours. The resulting part-slice regions are extracted from the sheet stock and stacked to assemble a physical 3-D realization of the original CAD description.  The assembly operation includes a tacking procedure that fixes the position of each sheet relative to the pre-existing stack.

The CAM-LEM Process
1. Slice Cutting
2. Stacking
3. Lamination
4. Conventional Binder Removal
and Sintering
5. Finished

After assembly, the layers are laminated together to achieve intimate inter-layer contact, promoting high-integrity bonding in the subsequent sintering operation. The laminated "green" object is then fired to densify the object into a monolithic structure. During this step the laminated history is completely erased and components offer material properties equivalent to those of standard manufacturing methods.   The result is a 3-D part which exhibits not only correct geometric form, but functional structural behavior as well.

The CAM-LEM process features:

  • fabrication of full-strength ceramic or metal parts
  • multiple material types can be used within a single build
  • internal, hollow shaped cavities and channels
  • rapid turnaround of functional parts for early performance testing

Flat alumina ceramic nozzle component

The CL-100 Machine

This machine automates the layered prototyping process.   The CL-100 produces parts or sets of parts within its 150 mm (6") cube work envelope.
Image of the CL-100 Machine
The CL-100 Machine

Up to 5 types of materials, including materials of differing thickness or composition, can be incorporated into a single automated build cycle.   Fugitive materials can be interleaved to support voids or overhangs.   Layer thickness can range from 30 microns to 1300 microns or more, although most common materials are between 150 and 600 microns (0.006 to 0.024 inches).

DOWNLOAD For more information, see the microfluidics spec sheet (PDF).

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Last modified 2005 April 10