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Near Net Shaping is a term applied to a number of fabrication techniques, the best known of which are probably gel casting and stereolithography, which allow the direct forming of complex shaped ceramic parts without the need for labour intensive and costly machining steps. These processes are currently the subject of much worldwide research because of the significant reduction in production costs which may be achieved.
Stereolithography is a near net shaping technique that has been under development for a number of years at the Industrial Ceramics School (ENSCI) and the Ceramics Technology Transfer Centre (CTTC), both located in Limoges, France. The following article written by researchers at these institutes describes the technique in depth.
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