RE: Alumina and SiC printing with zcorp's Z402

From: Alex Salvi (ASalvi@MMCCINC.COM)
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 18:01:50 EET

Hello Jan,

We are getting very good results with alumina and silicon carbide on the
zcorp machine. The surface finish is quite nice, better than the starch
based (zp11), I am not sure about the new plaster based (zp100). I can not
tell you what size grain I use, however I can tell you that it is not only
one but it is multiple sizes.
If you are using other materials I would reccomend keeping your print head
clean and cool. I place the print head (not the contacts) in a bath of
distilled water to cool it after every run for about 15 minutes, this will
increase substantially the print head life. Also clean the contacts with
isopropyl regularly as directed by Zcorp.
I don't have to do any hand finishing afterwards, for the parts I print I
use a z-step of .003" ( .0762mm ).
There is a way to make elastic parts using the Zcorp material. A customer
came up with it last year. He demonstrated it by taking a part and throwing
it across the room and making it bounce, I was told.
If you get in contact with people at ZCorp they will probably know how to do
Have you received the new maintenance CD from Zcorp, they give instructions
on how to make your parts shiny in one of the video.

FYI: Also, given your line of business, you might be interested in this...
ask them about multi color printing.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2000 9:40 AM
Subject: AW: Alumina and SiC printing with zcorp's Z402

Hi Alex,

I am trying to use also other materials with our Zcorp machine.
Did you get good results in using Alumina on the Zcorp.
How big is the grain size of the Alumina powder you are using, how much
hand-finish you have to do afterwards.
I am looking also for a material which gives you elastic parts on the Zcorp
similar to the Somos201 for SLS machines.
Did somebody any tests with this kind of material.


Jan Hill

Jan Hill
adidas-Salomon AG
Adi-Dassler-Straße 1-2/ Bldg VIII
91074 Herzogenaurach
phone: +49 (0) 9132/ 844042
fax: +49 (0) 9132/ 844054

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Alex Salvi [mailto:ASalvi@MMCCINC.COM]
Gesendet am: Mittwoch, 12. Januar 2000 22:07
An: 'Brock Hinzmann'; Rapid Prototyping Mailing List (E-mail)
Cc: Jim Cornie
Betreff: RE: Alumina and SiC printing with zcorp's Z402

thanks for the information. We are in fact working with aerospace firms on
both rp of alumina and rp of SiC. I would really appreciate it if you could
get me a contact name at SRI International.
Alex Salvi

-----Original Message-----
From: Brock Hinzmann []
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2000 1:17 PM
To: Alex Salvi
Subject: RE: Alumina and SiC printing with zcorp's Z402


SRI International (formerly the Stanford Research Institute) has
developed a machine that prints parts from virtually any powder starting
but the emphasis has been on ceramics for DoD applications. Silicon
nitride has been the primary material, but my understanding is they also
printed some silicon carbide parts. The Si3N4 parts were for gas turbine
and were tested by Allison (now RR) in testing chambers under high-temp
operating conditions and were found to be as good as or better than the
same parts made by conventional methods, in terms of density, operating
temperature capabilities, and several other characteristics. Accuracy is
probably not what is needed in some applications, but the machine uses a
microelectromechanical optical system that has potential for greater

The application you mention is not one they are working on, although
interest has been expressed in this area by other aerospace firms (besides

As far as I know, the current status of the program is to build and sell
a few beta test machines (three have been ordered, at about $50k each). I
can connect you, if you are interested.

Brock Hinzmann
Business Intelligence Center
SRI International

Alex Salvi wrote:
>Hello Dr. Ana Garcia (and anyone else interested of course)
>I have been reading the 1999 postings to the mailing list and two emails
>that you sent caught my attention. In one you said you were doing
>on rapid prototyping devices to do work with AlSiC and in the other you
>mentioned the Z402 3d printer used for casting joints of the millenium
>I am currently using our Z402 printer to print both SiC as well as
>parts which we cast to make metal matrix composites. Our alloys are
>aluminum, copper and magnesium.
>If you or anyone you know is working on this I thought we might share
>Alex Salvi
>Chief Design Engineer
>Metal Matrix Cast Composites, Inc.
>101 Clematis Ave.
>Waltham, MA 02453
>Phone: (781) 893-4449 x25
>Fax: (781) 893-7230
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