Creating things with ceramics is nothing new — people have done it for centuries. There are ways to 3D print ceramics, too. Well, you typically 3D print the wet ceramic and then fire it in a kiln. However, recent research is proposing a new way to produce 3D printed ceramics. The idea is to print using TPU which is infused with polysilazane, a preceramic polymer. Then the resulting print is fired to create the final ceramic product.
The process relies on a specific type of infill to create small channels inside the print to assist in the update of the polysilazane. The printer was a garden-variety Lulzbot TAZ 6 with ordinary 0.15mm and 0.25mm nozzles.
The process doesn’t sound quick. After printing, the part stayed in an acetone bath along with a tiny bit of a platinum-based catalyst for 15 minutes. Then they added the polymer and waited four hours followed by a 24 hour air dry.
The firing was probably not easy to do in a normal kiln, either. The final stage was 1200C for an hour in nitrogen. We don’t know how this would work with more conventional tools and we know the catalyst is a bit pricey. On the other hand, you don’t use much of it. This might be an area for experimentation if you have some experience and tools for working with ceramics.