Informatics, Electronics and Microsystems: TechConnect Briefs 2017Informatics, Electronics and Microsystems TechConnect Briefs 2017

3D Printing Chapter 5

Pixel Sweeping Technology enabling 3D Printing of Large-Scale Objects with Delicate Details

R. He, W. Shi, Y. Liu
Lehigh University, United States

pp. 160 - 162

Keywords: 3D printing, large scale, pixel sweeping, stereolithography

With the recent explosion of the 3D printing market, rapid prototyping of highly customized products has been made possible. Stereolithography based 3D printing is widely used in both industrial and consumer market due to the high precision and printing speed. On the other hand, customers and industry manufacturers desire a high performance technique that can enable the direct fabrication of integrated large-scale objects with delicate details in a fast speed. However, due to the speed limitation of laser based technique and the build volume limitation of DLP (Digital light processing) based technique, the combination of large volume, high resolution and fast speed can hardly be achieved. We have developed a 3D printing technology that allows the UV projector continuously cures the resin when scanning over the build area. To 3D print large objects, 3D models are sliced in to layer-by-layer ‘maps’, which are ultra-high resolution images. Each ‘map’ is further sliced into sub-region images to fit the projector’s resolution. The image can be projected and focused with a pixel size up to 10m. During the movement of the projector, our pixel sweeping technique allows the images to be dynamically exposed to the photocurable materials and synchronized with the scanning of the projector, enabling a still exposure pattern appears on the target build surface. Therefore, large objects with delicate details can be printed layer-by-layer. This scalable 3D printing technology enables the customized build volume in large-scale (can be even larger than 1 m3), while remains the micro-scale features and smooth finish. With the applying of self-regulated wiping system, our 3D printing technique is compatible with various photocurable materials even in a high viscosity, leading to the direct manufacturing of final parts from functional photocurable materials, such as ceramic and metal. Our 3D printing technique with the ability in large-scale fabrication and volume production is expected to provide ideal solutions in medical, dental, jewelry, automotive, and aerospace industries. Published Patents: US20160303795 A1 All Dimension Fabrication Apparatus and Methods