Nov.20, 2013

3D printing sounds like the stuff of science fiction: A technology that potentially can create any object of one's imagination. But at the moment 3D printers are too slow for on demand printing and print runs for large numbers of products.

Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering said they have developed a faster 3D printing process and are now using it to model and print objects in multiple materials.

Last year, researchers improved an AM-related process called mask-image-projection-based stereolithography (MIP-SL) to drastically speed up the printing of 3D objects. Instead of a single beam of light going back and forth to harden each layer of the liquid, in the MIP-SL process, a 3D digital model of an object is sliced by a set of horizontal planes and each slice is converted into a two-dimensional mask image. The mask image is then projected onto a photocurable liquid resin surface and light is projected onto the resin to cure it in the shape of the related layer.

Furthermore, the USC team developed a two-way movement design for bottom-up projection so that the resin could be quickly spread into uniform thin layers. As a result, it takes minutes instead of hours to 3D print an object.

Now the USC Viterbi team has applies this more efficient process to 3D print objects that comprise different materials. When different material cure at different rates, they need to design an intellligent system to tell the printer where to deposit, at what time. USC Viterbi professor Yong Chen said they have created program to do so, but they will investigate how to develop an automatic design approach for positioning multiple materials according to user-specified physical properties and how to improve the 3D printing speed.

This new 3D printing process will allow multiple materials prototypes and objects such as dental and robotics models to be fabricated more cost and time-efficiently than ever before.

Chen and Pu Huang and Dongping Deng, two USC Viterbi industrial and systems engineering doctoral candidates, are presenting their findings at ASME's 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in San Diego today.

Posted in 3D Printers



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slo 3D creators wrote at 11/25/2013 5:31:20 AM:

I have a B9 and this was my thoughts as well. I can only assume as well that they layer process is much quicker than the current standards.

Tomek wrote at 11/21/2013 1:14:42 AM:

So the article left a little bit wanting. We have 2D plane resin printers (See: B9creator) and we've had them for a few years. I wasn't quite clear what this one changed, though clearly the resin must develop a lot faster. :-). Just some complaining here but I don't mean it too harshly. I am sure there's more too this

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