What is ceramic 3D printing?

Today, ceramic 3D printers are mostly expensive industrial additive manufacturing systems. These systems vary in the 3D printing technologies they use to 3D print ceramic material: extrusion, binder jetting, photopolymerization, and powder sintering.

However, 3D printing is only part of a longer manufacturing process. Ceramic 3D printers generate green parts, meaning that they must go through heavy post-processing steps in order to reach their final form. One of these steps, for instance, is firing the ceramic part or prototype in a high-temperature kiln.

Kwambio's ceramic 3D printing process.
Source: Kwambio

Ceramic material is widely used in a number of industries. Of course, some of the first applications that come to mind are pottery or kitchenware – but ceramics are literally everywhere and in many different forms. They can be used for industrial use in automobiles or aerospace, for example, and some ceramics are frequently used in healthcare for medical devices and tools.

This guide includes a comprehensive selection of ceramic additive manufacturing solutions and clay 3D printers for professionals.

The best ceramic 3D printers in 2022

BrandProductBuild sizeCountryPrice
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
StoneFlower4.0 Multimaterial 3D printer 500 × 500 × 800 mmGermany$ 4,000Quote
WASPDeltaWASP 2040 Clay ⌀ 200 x 400 mmItaly$ 5,000Quote
3DPOTTER3D PotterBot 10 Pro 415 × 405 × 500 mmUnited States$ 6,105Quote
VormVrijLUTUM 5 430 × 450 × 500 mmNetherlands$ 9,900Quote
Tethon 3DBison 1000 United States$ 16,900Quote
LynxterS600D ⌀ 390 x 600 mmFrance$ 30,000Quote
Pollen AMPam Series MC ⌀ 300 x 300 mmFrance$ 140,000Quote
AdmatecADMAFLEX 130 96 × 54 × 120 mmNetherlands$ 150,000Quote
ExOneX1 160PRO 800 × 500 × 400 mmGermany$ 150,000Quote
RapidiaMetal 3D printer 200 × 280 × 200 mmCanada$ 185,000Quote
LithozCeraFab 7500 76 × 43 × 170 mmAustria$ 250,000Quote
XJetCarmel 700C 500 × 140 × 200 mmIsrael$ 599,000Quote
3DCeramC3600 ULTIMATE 600 × 600 × 300 mmFrance upon requestQuote

The products in the table are ranked by price (low to high).

TITRE:
BrandProductTechnologyBuild sizeMaterialCountryPrice
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
StoneFlower4.0 Multimaterial 3D printerExtrusion500 × 500 × 800 mmCeramicGermany$ 4,000Get a quote
WASPDeltaWASP 2040 ClayExtrusion⌀ 200 x 400 mmCeramicItaly$ 5,000Get a quote
3DPOTTER3D PotterBot 10 ProExtrusion415 × 405 × 500 mmCeramicUnited States$ 6,105Get a quote
VormVrijLUTUM 5Extrusion430 × 450 × 500 mmCeramicNetherlands$ 9,900Get a quote
Tethon 3DBison 1000DLPMetal, CeramicUnited States$ 16,900Get a quote
LynxterS600DExtrusion⌀ 390 x 600 mmStandard (PLA, ABS…), Engineering (PC, nylon…), High-performance (PEEK, Ultem…), Ceramic, SiliconeFrance$ 30,000Get a quote
Pollen AMPam Series MCExtrusion⌀ 300 x 300 mmStandard (PLA, ABS…), Engineering (PC, nylon…), Metal, CeramicFrance$ 140,000Get a quote
AdmatecADMAFLEX 130DLP96 × 54 × 120 mmCeramicNetherlands$ 150,000Get a quote
ExOneX1 160PROBinder Jetting800 × 500 × 400 mmMetal, CeramicGermany$ 150,000Get a quote
RapidiaMetal 3D printerExtrusion200 × 280 × 200 mmMetal, CeramicCanada$ 185,000Get a quote
LithozCeraFab 7500DLP76 × 43 × 170 mmCeramicAustria$ 250,000Get a quote
XJetCarmel 700CMaterial Jetting500 × 140 × 200 mmCeramicIsrael$ 599,000Get a quote
3DCeramC3600 ULTIMATESLA600 × 600 × 300 mmCeramicFrance upon requestGet a quote

Industrial ceramic additive manufacturing systems

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
By 3DCeram
CountryFrance
Build size600 × 600 × 300 mm
TechnologyResin > SLA
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
upon request

The C3600 ULTIMATE by french manufacturer 3DCeram is able to 3D print different engineering ceramics, including: zirconia, alumina, hydroxyapatite/TCP, Si3N4, cordierite, zirconsilica, and silica.

These materials are in the form of proprietary, photosensitive pastes that the ceramic 3D printer photopolymerizes layer after layer.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
By Admatec
CountryNetherlands
Build size96 × 54 × 120 mm
TechnologyResin > DLP
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 150,000

This ceramic additive manufacturing system uses DLP 3D printing technology.

Compatible materials include aluminum oxide, zirconium oxide, silicon oxide, a combination of aluminum and zirconium, hydroxyapatite and silica based materials for investment casting.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
By ExOne
CountryGermany
Build size800 × 500 × 400 mm
TechnologyBinder Jetting
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 150,000

The X1 160PRO is ExOne’s largest metal and ceramic 3D printer, and uses binder jetting technology. It works with ExOne’s Scout Industry 4.0 app for remote and real-time monitoring of production runs.

Destined for industrial production, this ceramic 3D printer offers an impressive throughput of up to 10,000 cm3/hour.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
By Lithoz
CountryAustria
Build size76 × 43 × 170 mm
TechnologyResin > DLP
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 250,000

The Lithoz CeraFab 7500 is an industrial-grade 3D printer featuring Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) technology. This technology uses photosensitive resin to 3D print ceramic parts.

According to Lithoz, this ceramic additive manufacturing system is plug-and-play.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
By Rapidia
CountryCanada
Build size200 × 280 × 200 mm
TechnologyExtrusion
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 185,000

Canada-based Rapidia offers an interesting and unique way to 3D print ceramics (and metal). They use a water-based ceramic paste, which eliminates the need for chemical debinding.

The water evaporates during the 3D printing process, so the part only needs to go through the furnace in order to completely solidify and attain its final form.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
By XJet
CountryIsrael
Build size500 × 140 × 200 mm
TechnologyMaterial Jetting
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 599,000

This industrial 3D printer from Israel breaks ceramic and metal material down into nanoparticles, in a patented process called NanoParticle Jetting. These particles are then mixed to XJet’s proprietary liquid, which is then jetted layer by layer through thousands of nozzles.

XJet’s technology produces parts of with an outstanding level of detail and accuracy.

Professional desktop ceramic 3D printers

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
CountryUnited States
Build size415 × 405 × 500 mm
TechnologyExtrusion
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 6,105

This ceramic 3D printer uses a stationary paste extruder, meaning that clay comes directly out of the nozzle without the need for air compressors or hoses.

The syringe-like extruder is able to contain a maximum of 2000 mL of material.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
CountryFrance
Build size⌀ 300 x 300 mm
TechnologyExtrusion
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 140,000

Pollen AM is a French manufacturer that has been producing pellet 3D printers since 2013. Their Pam Series MC is a delta-style 3D printer (cylindrical build volume) that can print both ceramics and metals, and even thermoplastics.

It extrudes injection-molding pellets instead of ceramic 3D printing filament, which is a more affordable material format than powder or filament, for example.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
CountryGermany
Build size500 × 500 × 800 mm
TechnologyExtrusion
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 4,000

German-based StoneFlower manufactures print heads dedicated for suspensions and pastes, clay printing add-ons for desktop 3D printers, and the user-friendly Multimaterial 3D printer.

The StoneFlower 3D printer comes with a touchscreen, WiFi/Ethernet, precise mechanical feed system, and optional dual extruder.

Custom build sizes are available upon request as well as closed casings.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
CountryUnited States
Build size
TechnologyResin > DLP
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 16,900

The Bison 1000 is a desktop ceramic resin 3D printer from the US. Tethon 3D, the manufacturer, has been developing professional resins for a few years already and this is their first commercialized 3D printer.

Proprietary resins include materials such as porcelain, earthenware, alumina, and others.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
By WASP
CountryItaly
Build size⌀ 200 x 400 mm
TechnologyExtrusion
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 5,000

WASP is an Italian manufacturer specializing in delta 3D printers and clay 3D printing materials (and even concrete 3D printing). Their Delta WASP 2040 Clay is a compact and affordable solution for professionals.

A clay printing kit is also available for users that already own a 3D printer.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
CountryNetherlands
Build size430 × 450 × 500 mm
TechnologyExtrusion
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 9,900

The VormVrij LUTUM 5 is one of the many clay 3D printers manufactured by Dutch brand VormVrij. This model is equipped with a large intuitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity, and high-quality components.

Its 316 grade Stainless Steel extruder uses moisture-free 6Bar compressed air to push clay through its nozzle.

AIO 3D printers that 3D print ceramic material with paste extruders

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.
By Lynxter
CountryFrance
Build size⌀ 390 x 600 mm
TechnologyExtrusion
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 30,000

The S600D by French manufacturer Lynxter is an all-in-one 3D printer that is packed with features. Its main characteristic is its ability to 3D print high-performance materials such as PEEK or PEI, with a high-temperature extruder, print bed, and chamber.

Its special paste-material print head enables it to 3D print ceramic materials as well.

Selection This product is featured in a buyer’s guide.

VX

By ZMorph
CountryPoland
Build size250 × 235 × 165 mm
TechnologyExtrusion
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 2,799

The ZMorph VX is a powerful all-in-one desktop 3D printer made by ZMorph, a manufacturer based in Poland.

Thanks to its interchangeable tool heads, the ZMorph VX enables users to rapidly switch between functionalities: CNC milling, laser engraving/cutting, 3D scanning, and paste extrusion for clay materials.

Special mentions

Nanoe Zetamix

Nanoe produces several ceramic-infused filaments that can be printed by almost any desktop FFF 3D printer. These filaments are part of Nanoe’s Zetamix line and materials include Zirconia, black Zirconia, and Alumina, and even a metal-based filament (Stainless Steel).

After parts are printed, debinded, and sintered, they are 99% dense.

Voxeljet

Voxeljet specializes in industrial AM systems for sand molds, though the majority of their printers are capable of printing ceramic materials.

The most compact Voxeljet system is the VX200, which already boasts very large dimensions: 1,700 x 900 x 1,500 mm. Pricing starts at around $150,000.

Kwambio

For those looking for Kwambio, the company is in a delicate financial position. Kwambio is an additive manufacturing company from Ukraine with headquarters in New York. Their online ceramic 3D printing service enables users to choose from glossy, matte, opaque, or unglazed finishes.

The Kwambio Ceramo Zero ceramic 3D printer never officially made it to market.

Ceramic 3D printing process

There are several 3D printing technologies available to 3D print ceramic material:

  • Paste extrusion: a paste extruder deposits layers of ceramic onto a build plate.
  • Powder sintering: the ceramic is in a powdered form and is sintered layer by layer.
  • Binder jetting: the 3D printer deposits layers of binding agent upon layers of powder.
  • Photopolymerization: a light source solidifies a mix of resin and ceramic powder layer after layer.

Most industrial ceramic 3D printers use either binder jetting or powder sintering technologies.

As mentioned earlier, ceramic 3D printers create green parts. These green parts must go through different steps to reach their final form:

  • Firing: in some cases, this step must be repeated more than once.
  • Glazing (optional): professionals may choose to cover the object with glaze to give it a special color or finish, such as matte or glossy.

Applications for ceramic 3D printing

In general, ceramic materials provide a number of properties:

  • high strength and dimensional stability
  • low density
  • chemical stability
  • high electrical insulating capacity
  • high resistance to abrasion and corrosion

Therefore, ceramic 3D printing suits a wide variety of applications. These applications include engineering in industries such as aerospace, automotive, chemical, electrical, environmental, medical, and more.

Of course, artists can also benefit from ceramic 3D printing (clay printing) for pottery and sculptures.

Here, we are highlighting two industries where ceramic 3D printing seems to be gaining prominence:

Ceramic art, pottery, and sculptures

For hundreds of years, we have been using clay to create beautiful and/or functional objects. Dutch designer Olivier van Herpt, for example, uses his ceramic 3D printer to create impressive vases. Ceramic material is also used in the luxury industry for watches and jewelry.

Biomedical

There are a number of applications with 3D printing ceramics when it comes to the medical industry. For instance, patients can benefit from custom implants made of calcium phosphates, a material that is very close to human bone composition. Furthermore, it’s possible to control the implant’s porosity.

This means 3D printed bone substitutes will have a low chance of rejection from a body’s immune system. 3DCeram illustrates this in their medical case study.

Professional ceramic 3D printing services

Industrial ceramic additive manufacturing systems are very expensive, and it may not always make sense for a business to invest in one. Some ceramic printer manufacturers give professionals the opportunity to use their machines through ceramic 3D printing services.

Users just have to send their 3D model to the service, choose the material, and wait until they receive the final product. Ceramic 3D printer manufacturers such as 3DCeram, Admatec, DDM Systems, Kwambio, Lithoz, Prodways, and Voxeljet provide this type of service.

A few 3D printing service bureaus offer ceramic printing options, too:

  • Shapeways
  • iMaterialise
  • OsseoMatrix
  • WZR CerPrint
Product Design GIF by vectary