Canon Press Releases

Canon Has Developed Both a Ceramic Material for 3D Printers and a Manufacturing Technology for the Highly Accurate 3D Printing of Parts with Complex Geometries: To Be Used in Industrial Fields

Canon: Ceramic parts created using the new technology
Canon: Ceramic parts created using the new technology

The following silent video presents Introducing the Canon 3D printer concept – Canon EXPO Paris 2015:
This resin-based Canon 3D printing system prints models of superior strength at higher speeds and with greater precision, reducing the need for time-consuming post-processing….

This technology and its specifications are concepts only and cannot be purchased today. Details future availability and final specifications are not currently available.


November 27, 2018
Canon Inc.

Canon announces development of proprietary ceramic material for 3D printers, manufacturing technology for the highly accurate 3D printing of parts with complex geometries

TOKYO, November 27, 2018—Canon Inc. announced today that the company has developed a manufacturing technology for the highly accurate 3D printing of ceramic parts with complex geometries using a proprietary ceramic material for 3D printers. The 3D printed ceramic parts feature such properties of conventional ceramics as heat and corrosion resistance as well as insulating properties, and are expected to be utilized in a variety of different fields, including industrial equipment.

3D printers that utilize such materials as metal and resin, which enable easy prototyping and the production of a variety of parts in small lots, have started to become more common. However, many existing ceramic materials for 3D printers contain resin and the parts produced using these materials can shrink approximately 20 percent1 during the post-annealing process, making it difficult to produce ceramic parts with high accuracy.

Canon: Honeycomb-shaped part

Canon: Honeycomb-shaped part

Canon has developed a new alumina-based ceramic material suited to selective laser melting2 as well as a new parts production technology. Through this technology, a 3D printer can be used to stably produce ceramic parts with such complex geometries as hollow and porous structures, which are difficult to achieve through ordinary metal molding or cutting processes. For example, when creating honeycomb shapes3 with hexagonal hollows and a diameter of approximately 19 mm, parts can be produced with high accuracy with differences in external dimensions before and after the annealing stage of less than 0.8 percent.

Canon: Compatible with parts of varying geometrical elements

Canon: Compatible with parts of varying geometrical elements

Ceramic parts manufactured using this technology are expected to be used in all kinds of industrial fields, from parts for equipment that demands heat resistance and insulating properties, such as electric furnaces, to parts facing exposure to chemicals that require corrosion resistance. Canon Group companies, including Canon Inc. and Canon Machinery, are investigating applications for this technology in the prototyping of parts for industrial equipment.

Going forward, Canon plans to expand the use of this technology to such areas as the medical field through the development of more compatible materials to meet an even wider range of prototyping and wide-variety, small-lot needs.

1 For example, when producing parts using stereolithography with ceramic materials that contain ultraviolet-curable resin.
2 A 3D printing method typically used for metal fabrication where the material is melted using a laser.
3 In the case of parts with a linewidth of approximately 0.4 mm, a diameter of approximately 19 mm and thickness of approximately 2 mm, as shown in the “Honeycomb-shaped part” image above.
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