Printing in plastics and resins is the most affordable (and accessible) way to 3D print. These printers are less expensive than many common power tools. Although printing in other materials than plastic can be complicated, it is possible. These printers can cost orders of magnitudes more than the plastic counterparts. And then there are materials which haven’t really materialized into a viable 3D printing system. Ceramic is one such material. There are printers which can print on ceramic but this printer has made some great strides.
The current technology for printing ceramics uses a ceramic slurry to print on, followed by curing the material with ultraviolet light. The problem with ultraviolet light is that it doesn’t penetrate particularly far into the slurry, only meaningfully curing the outside portions. It can cause problems with prints, particularly around support structures. The team at Jiangnan University improved the process by using near-infrared lights to cure prints. This allowed the energy to penetrate deeper into the material, which led to a better cure. It also reduces, or even eliminates the requirement for support in the print.
Nature provides the complete paper about this method. It includes all the information surrounding it. This method may not be available to the general public for some time. If you can get by with a print material that’s a little less exotic, it’s not too hard to get a metal 3D printer, as long as you are familiar with a bit of electrochemistry.