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FAST-MED - Research project

Additive manufacturing by stereolithography of tough ceramics for medical application


Additive manufacturing of ceramics allows the producing of medical prostheses with complex geometries and tailored internal architectures, to allow for example enhanced bone integration.
Stereolithography (SLA) of ceramics is based on a layer-by-layer polymerization of pastes that are composed of ceramic particles and monomers. A near-UV laser polymerizes a given pattern defined by a CAD file to process the green ceramic part. Multifunctional monomers polymerization and consecutive layers curing zones superposition ensure its mechanical strength. High ceramic loading in SLA pastes and particles dimensions impact photons trajectories and thus polymerization. If paste-laser interaction is well controlled, debinding and sintering steps allow obtaining a high-density ceramic part from this polymerized printed object.
Zirconia stabilization by Cerium oxide (ex. Ce-TZP) provides good mechanical properties for biomedical applications like jaw prostheses. The main interest of Ceria-doped zirconia is its stress-induced structural transformation which leads to a transformation-induced plasticity (quite similar to the TRIP effects well known in certain metals) and a better crack propagation resistance. Ce-TZP based materials do not undergo aging when in contact with biological fluids, ensuring a perfect stability on longer timescales for implanted devices.
SLA development for Ce-TZP based composites could therefore permit to process architectured objects with complex geometries and surfaces that could be adapted to different load-bearing prostheses, for which a high resistance to crack propagation is requested.
The FAST-MED project ultimately aims at processing Ce-TZP biomedical ceramics by SLA, with different steps: understanding of structure - rheology relations in commercial and developed SLA pastes, describing and optimising paste-laser interactions, processing of complex shapes and architectures for bone replacement, mechanical and biological assessment.
  • FAST-MED - Illustration1
    Plasticity zones by phase transformation on a sample subjected to biaxial flexion test until fracture © Sylvain Fournier - MATEIS
    FAST-MED - Illustration1
  • FASTMED_CeraMaker
    3DCERAM ceramic stereolithography 3D printer © Cyril FRESILLON / MATEIS / CNRS Photothèque


  • S. Fournier, et al., Ceramic stereolithography paste rheology: structural evolution under shear and vibration fluidification effect, ECERS 2023 - Lyon - 2-6 July 2023
  • S. Fournier, et al., Multi-scale characterization of transformation-induced plasticity in Ceria-doped zirconia, ECERS 2023 - Lyon - 2-6 July 2023
  • S. Fournier, et al., Transformation-induced plasticity of zirconia-based ceramic composites: effect of the microstructure, Plasticité 2023 - Lyon - 3-5 Apr. 2023
  • S. Fournier, et al., A multi-physics approach to rationalize the properties of 3Y-TZP based stereolithography pastes, yCAM - Barcelona -  9-11 Nov. 2022
  • S. Fournier, et al., Additive manufacturing of ductile and tough zirconia-based ceramic composites, ESCI - Zurich - 20-22 Oct.2022
  • S. Fournier, et al., Increasing the reliability of bioceramics processed through stereolithography using tough zirconia-based composites, Bioceramics 32 - Venice Mestre - 20-23 Sept. 2022
  • S. Fournier, et al., Additive manufacturing by stereolithography of tough ceramics for medical applications: From the development of specific pastes to suitable compositions and architectures, 17th European Inter-Regional Conference on Ceramics, 2021 -