Rather than building up plastic filaments layer by layer, a new approach to 3D printing lifts complex shapes from a vat of liquid at up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing processes, University of Michigan researchers have shown.
3D printing could change the game for relatively small manufacturing jobs, producing fewer than 10,000 identical items, because it would mean that the objects could be made without the need for a mold costing upwards of $10,000. But the most familiar form of 3D printing, which is sort of like building 3D objects with a series of 1D lines, hasn’t been able to fill that gap on typical production timescales of a week or two.
“Using conventional approaches, that’s not really attainable unless you have hundreds of machines,” said Timothy Scott, U-M associate professor of chemical engineering who co-led the development of the new 3D printing approach with Mark Burns, the T.C. Chang Professor of Engineering at U-M.
Their method solidifies the liquid resin using two lights to control where the resin hardens—and where it stays fluid. This enables the team to solidify the resin in more sophisticated patterns. They can make a 3D bas-relief in a single shot rather than in a series of 1D lines or 2D cross-sections. Their printing demonstrations include a lattice, a toy boat and a block M.
“It’s one of the first true 3D printers ever made,” said Burns, professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.
But the true 3D approach is no mere stunt—it was necessary to overcome the limitations of earlier vat-printing efforts. Namely, the resin tends to solidify on the window that the light shines through, stopping the print job just as it gets started.
By creating a relatively large region where no solidification occurs, thicker resins—potentially with strengthening powder additives—can be used to produce more durable objects. The method also bests the structural integrity of filament 3D printing, as those objects have weak points at the interfaces between layers.
“You can get much tougher, much more wear-resistant materials,” Scott said.
An earlier solution to the solidification-on-window problem was a window that lets oxygen through. The oxygen penetrates into the resin and halts the solidification near the window, leaving a film of fluid that will allow the newly printed surface to be pulled away.
But because this gap is only about as thick as a piece of transparent tape, the resin must be very runny to flow fast enough into the tiny gap between the newly solidified object and the window as the part is pulled up. This has limited vat printing to small, customized products that will be treated relatively gently, such as dental devices and shoe insoles.
By replacing the oxygen with a second light to halt solidification, the Michigan team can produce a much larger gap between the object and the window—millimeters thick—allowing resin to flow in thousands of times faster.
The key to success is the chemistry of the resin. In conventional systems, there is only one reaction. A photoactivator hardens the resin wherever light shines. In the Michigan system, there is also a photoinhibitor, which responds to a different wavelength of light.
Rather than merely controlling solidification in a 2D plane, as current vat-printing techniques do, the Michigan team can pattern the two kinds of light to harden the resin at essentially any 3D place near the illumination window.
U-M has filed three patent applications to protect the multiple inventive aspects of the approach, and Scott is preparing to launch a startup company.
A paper describing this research will be published in Science Advances, titled, “Rapid, continuous additive manufacturing by volumetric polymerization inhibition patterning.”
Learn more: 3D printing 100 times faster with light
The Latest on: 3D printing
via Google News
The Latest on: 3D printing
- Rapid, low-cost method to 3D print microfluidic devices | IDTechEx Research Articleon August 16, 2019 at 2:40 pm
Microfluidics is the manipulation and study of sub-microscopic liters of fluids. Technologies that utilise microfluidics are found in many multidisciplinary fields ranging from engineering to biology.
- Inspire the next generation with the Toybox 3D Printer for kidson August 16, 2019 at 9:36 am
Now your kids can print their own toys. Latest Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Popular Science may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site.
- VA Seeks Staff to Use 3D Printing to Personalize Care for Patientson August 16, 2019 at 9:23 am
As the Veterans Affairs Department implements disruptive technologies—and specifically 3D printing—insiders are making strategic plans to disseminate modern tools across the agency and build a robust ...
- Live Webinar - 3D Printing Parts With Demanding Tolerances - August 28, 2PM ETon August 16, 2019 at 8:57 am
Just because your 3D printer has a high “resolution” doesn’t mean your parts will be accurate or precise. Understanding material options and how to optimize the part-to-print workflow is essential to ...
- 3D Printing Factors Big in HP's Sustainability Game Planon August 16, 2019 at 8:35 am
Aug 16, 2019 (3BL Media via COMTEX) -- SOURCE:HP, Inc. By Beth Stackpole 3D printing will continue to play a key role in HP's mission to create a circular and low-carbon economy--a vision and set of ...
- 3D Printing Buying Guide 2019on August 16, 2019 at 2:53 am
What a difference a year makes. Once again we’ve seen some monumental shifts and changes in the 3D printing landscape for desktop 3D printers. At the low-end competition has been murderous with ...
- Moving from 3D Printing to Injection Molding: 5 Things to Consideron August 16, 2019 at 12:34 am
Several manufacturing technologies exist for making plastic parts. All over the world, injection presses, 3D printers and CNC machines are at this moment cutting, extruding and forming plastic ...
- 3D printing organs may soon be a reality via a new open-source technique – Future Blinkon August 15, 2019 at 5:02 pm
Bioengineers at Rice University created entangled cardiovascular networks similar to the body’s natural passageways. Read more... More about Mashable Video, 3d Printing, Organ Transplants ...
- 3D printing manufacturer to bring over 100 jobs to Albuquerqueon August 15, 2019 at 12:52 pm
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Florida-based 3D printing company is coming to Albuquerque. On Thursday, Jabil Inc. announced that it plans to invest nearly $42 million in new technology and equipment ...
- How 3D Printing Helps Fight Cancer And Build 5G Networks: XJet's NanoParticle Jetting Technologyon August 15, 2019 at 9:05 am
Additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing) companies are competing fiercely to develop more sophisticated machines to meet the needs of a wider range of industries. The competition—as detailed in a ...
via Bing News