The innovation engine for new materials

Christian Fulgentes

Christian Fulgentes


University of California, Santa Barbara


Chemical Engineering


Luis Chavez

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Yirong Lin

Faculty Sponsor's Department(s): 

Mechanical Engineering

Project Title: 

Fabrication of functional ceramics through 3D binder jetting printing

Project Description: 

Although societies all around the world are trying to move towards renewable energy sources, it is still common to depend on fossil fuel energy sources. For this reason, it is important to closely monitor the operating conditions of the energy conversion systems used for this purpose. Piezoelectric materials are an excellent solution for these applications as they can provide pressure and temperature sensing while also withstanding the hard conditions present in these systems. One of the most prominent piezoelectric ceramics is barium titanate, BaTiO3. The current fabrication methods used to manufacture piezoelectric ceramics do not allow for custom complex designs. Thus, the purpose of this research project was to use an M-Lab 3D binder jetting printer to fabricate piezoelectric BaTiO3. Three variations of BaTiO3 powders were used for ceramic printing: 45 μm BaTiO3 powder, a 50/50 mixture of 45 μm and 100 nm BaTiO3 powders, and a 1 wt. % PVA – 50/50 BaTiO3 mixture. Physical, dielectric, and piezoelectric properties of the 3D printed structures were then characterized. Of the three variations of BaTiO3, 45 μm powder produced the most optimal results with 55.0% of theoretical density, 16.9% of theoretical dielectric constant, and 60.5% of theoretical piezoelectric constant. These results show that high quality piezoelectric ceramics can be 3D printed through binder jetting technology. Further research is needed to optimize the printing parameters of the BaTiO3 powders and to increase the density, piezoelectric, and dielectric constants for the printed ceramics.