In Stereolithography a product is created layer by layer by illuminating a photo-curable ultraviolet curable photopolymer "resin". For each layer, the laser beam traces a cross-section of the part pattern on the surface of the liquid resin. Exposure to the ultraviolet laser light cures and solidifies the pattern traced on the resin and joins it to the layer below.
This method can create high accuracy with excellent stability. Unirapid Inc in Japan developed a small SLS 3D printer Unirapid III which is claimed to have the 3D printing quality the same as those costing 200,000 to 500,000 US dollars.
The whole printer is specialized for printing very detailed designs, with a maximum build envelope of 150 × 150 × 150mm. The machine prints with a minimum of 0.05mm per layer.
The resin material can be used in this SLS machine is ProtoGen 18420 from DSM, a liquid, ABS-like, photopolymer that produces accurate parts. In addition it can also use NanoTool from DSM to produce strong, stiff, high temperature resistant composite parts.
The UNIRAPID III is suitable for making high resolution parts for research and development, but it is not recommended to make large models because the speed of construction is slow.
Here are some 3D prints examples from the UNIRAPID III.
Material: ProtoGen18420 (ABS-like, high resolution)
Model: a small cube 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 mm
3D Printing time: 32 minutes
Model: 10mm x 15mm x 1mm
3D printing time: 2 hours 28 minutes
Printing time: 1 hour
Model: hollow pipe outside diameter 3mm, inside diameter 2mm
3D Printing: 6 hours
Material: NanoTool (containing fine particles of ceramics, high temperature resistant, ultra robust)
3D Printing: 3 hours
Model: height 0.6mm, thickness 0.1mm
3D Printing: 39 minutes
In addition, the company has also developed a Micro-stereolithography device for laboratory the URM-HP301, a starter kit for micro modeling. It uses HeCd laser to cure colorless acrylic resin. The HeCd Laser beam diameter is about 7μm, and build envelope is maximum 30mm XYZ. It has no covers so customers can make own changes. The price of the device is 9 million yen (around 90,000 USD), tax not included.
Check out the mini samples of the URM-HP301.
Thanks to Jeff for the tip and help with translation!
Posted in 3D Printer
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