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Multi-material stereolithography using curing-on-demand printheads

Multi-material stereolithography using curing-on-demand printheads This paper aims to present a multi-material additive manufacturing (AM) process with a newly developed curing-on-demand method to fabricate a three-dimensional (3D) object with multiple material compositions.Design/methodology/approachUnlike the deposition-on-demand printing method, the proposed curing-on-demand printheads use a digital light processing (DLP) projector to selectively cure a thin layer of liquid photocurable resin and then clean the residual uncured material effectively using a vacuuming and post-curing device. Each printhead can individually fabricate one type of material using digitally controlled mask image patterns. The proposed AM process can accurately deposit multiple materials in each layer by combining multiple curing-on-demand printheads together. Consequently, a three-dimensional object can be fabricated layer-by-layer using the developed curing-on-demand printing method.FindingsEffective cleaning of uncured resin is realized with reduced coated resin whose height is in the sub-millimeter level and improved vacuum cleaning performance with the uncleaned resin less than 10 µm thick. Also, fast material swapping is achieved using the compact design of multiple printheads.Originality/valueThe proposed multi-material stereolithography (SL) process enables 3D printing components using more viscous materials and can achieve desired manufacturing characteristics, including high feature resolution, fast fabrication speed and low machine cost. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Rapid Prototyping Journal Emerald Publishing

Multi-material stereolithography using curing-on-demand printheads

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1355-2546
eISSN
1355-2546
DOI
10.1108/rpj-05-2020-0104
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to present a multi-material additive manufacturing (AM) process with a newly developed curing-on-demand method to fabricate a three-dimensional (3D) object with multiple material compositions.Design/methodology/approachUnlike the deposition-on-demand printing method, the proposed curing-on-demand printheads use a digital light processing (DLP) projector to selectively cure a thin layer of liquid photocurable resin and then clean the residual uncured material effectively using a vacuuming and post-curing device. Each printhead can individually fabricate one type of material using digitally controlled mask image patterns. The proposed AM process can accurately deposit multiple materials in each layer by combining multiple curing-on-demand printheads together. Consequently, a three-dimensional object can be fabricated layer-by-layer using the developed curing-on-demand printing method.FindingsEffective cleaning of uncured resin is realized with reduced coated resin whose height is in the sub-millimeter level and improved vacuum cleaning performance with the uncleaned resin less than 10 µm thick. Also, fast material swapping is achieved using the compact design of multiple printheads.Originality/valueThe proposed multi-material stereolithography (SL) process enables 3D printing components using more viscous materials and can achieve desired manufacturing characteristics, including high feature resolution, fast fabrication speed and low machine cost.

Journal

Rapid Prototyping JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 14, 2021

Keywords: Additive manufacturing; Stereolithography; Multi-material; Printhead; Vacuum cleaning; Printhead

References