The standard ones just didn’t do the job properly! ”Now we are more productive”, says James Morton, Quality technician. Bespoke 3D printed alumina crucibles were what was required. Now we are more efficient, productive and even more profitable.
Moreover, matching his specifications simply didn’t exist. Their business required a crucible that was not on the market.
The only way James could realise his innovative idea was to 3D printing them. This way he got the required ceramic parts with the same properties as parts made by moulding or injection.
Plus he was able to make unlimited numbers of designs in less than a week.
Considering factors for alumina crucibles
Firstly it is extremely important in our manufacturing process that we check the quality of the parts we produce. Secondly we need to check the quality and the homogeneity of the microstructure.
To do this we break the parts into smaller pieces so they can be examined under a microscope. We place these on alumina crucibles in sections so that we can keep all the parts separated in the examination process. The crucible is put in a furnace and then thermal etching tests are conducted.
Therefore, James was looking for a numbered compartmentalised crucible capable of withstanding high temperatures (400°C.h-1 to 1500 °C). something he was not able to get from his suppliers.
”Manufacturing alumina crucibles with 3D printing is a standard product for us now and we owe this to this technology”, says James.
”The advantages provided by this new crucible design are undeniable. We no longer have the risk of mixing samples. We have improved our process and the relevancy of the tests we need to do.
Furthermore, 3D printed alumina crucibles provide a time saving so over all we provide a better product and we make more profit. The team can handle samples more quickly and is liberating from the mental workload of making a mistake.”, says James.
Check out the technology that James used