A big strength of additive manufacturing processes is the design-driven construction process, by means of which even complex geometries such as undercuts, hollow spaces and internal structures can be achieved in just one production stage. Manufacturing without tools also shortens the development and production times and facilitates cost-effective production of individual components from a batch size of one. Additive processes are particularly resource-efficient, as the amount of raw material required is almost identical with the actual volume of the final object. With traditional forming methods (milling, sawing, planing, drilling) a large part of the expensive material is discarded, whereas there is hardly any waste in 3D printing.

These advantages also apply when it comes to processing industrial ceramics: aided by lithography-based ceramic manufacturing (LCM), 3D printed prototypes and series products of the highest quality can now be produced for the first time. The ceramic 3D objects achieve over 99% of the theoretical density and, even without subsequent finishing, have an extremely smooth surface with a quality of 0.4 Ra. The LCM process is particularly economical: excess material can be processed and used again in subsequent processes. As with all 3D printing processes, LCM technology also makes it possible to adapt the CAD model quickly and customize it as required, without driving up production costs. Manufacturing of customized products using the rules of mass production is also referred to as “mass customization” and represents one of the core ideas of Industry 4.0.