Purpose – To satisfy the demands for rapid prototyped small‐size objects with intricate microstructures, a high‐resolution stereolithography (SL) system is developed. Design/methodology/approach – This novel SL system consists of a single mode He‐Cd laser, an improved optical scanning system, a novel recoating system and a control system. The improved optical system consists of a beam expander, an acoustic‐optic modulator, a galvanometric scanner and an F ‐ &thetas; lens; the recoating system consists of roller pump, resins vat with an integrated high‐resolution translation stage and part building platform and a scraper. Experimental studies were performed to investigate the influences of building parameters on the cured line width and depth. Findings – With the SL system, a laser light spot with a diameter of 12.89 μ m on the focal plane and resin layers with a thickness of 20 μ m have been obtained. The experimental results indicate that cured depth and width increase with the ratio of laser power to scanning speed, and cured line with a width of 12 μ m and a depth of 28 μ m was built, which showed the capability building microstructures with this new SL system. Research limitations/implications – The building area limited to 65 × 65 mm, is smaller than that of current SL system. Practical implications – Small objects with intricate microstructures can be fabricated with the SL system. Originality/value – The high‐resolution SL system provides a solution to the problem that has hampered the progress of SL process into a high resolution ranges below 75 μ m.
Rapid Prototyping Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Rapid prototypes; Size reduction; Advanced manufacturing technologies
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