HRL High-Temperature Ceramics 3D-Printing Technology Selected as R&D 100 Finalist

HRL Laboratories, LLC, has been selected as a 2017 R&D 100 Finalist with the entry Additively Manufactured High-Temperature Polymer-Derived Ceramics. This breakthrough in additive manufacturing—3D printing—was originally published in the January 1, 2016 issue of the journal Science.

The R&D 100 award winners will be announced at a gala event during the fourth annual R&D 100 Conference held November 16-17 at the Disney Swan Hotel in Orlando, FL.

For the past 55 years, the prestigious R&D 100 Awards program has honored research and development pioneers and revolutionary ideas in science and technology. The R&D 100 Conference was launched in 2015 as an educational event to celebrate the prestigious awards and provide a new, in-depth conference to bring together unique opportunities for innovative professionals to learn, network, and collaborate.

The HRL technology is a new preceramic polymer resin for additive manufacturing of ceramics that overcomes the limitations of traditional ceramic processing. HRL’s preceramic polymers can be cured in a layer-wise fashion on off-the-shelf desktop stereolithography systems.  The cured preceramic polymer is then heated to 1000°C in an inert atmosphere furnace, converting the material into a high-strength, fully dense ceramic that retains the geometric complexity of the original polymer part. This process enables the HRL team to harness the design freedom of additive manufacturing in creating components of virtually any shape and size that can withstand temperatures in excess of 1700°C and are ten times stronger than similar materials.

“We’re very honored to be selected by R&D 100 and we are excited about the attention our 3D printing process has gained, said HRL’s Program Manager Zak Eckel.

HRL Senior Scientist Dr. Tobias Schaedler said, “Potential applications for the technology range from dentistry, biomedical devices and microelectronics to high temperature components common in the aerospace and industrial processing industries. We are glad that other people recognize the revolutionary potential of our new technology.”

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HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California ( is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.

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