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Researchers use light to 3D print 100 times faster

By Shawn Knight · 6 replies
Jan 14, 2019
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  1. Researchers from the University of Michigan believe they have developed a new technique that could revolutionize traditional 3D printing by performing print jobs up to 100 times faster.

    Conventional 3D printing is a time-intensive process as objects are essentially built from the ground up using a series of one-dimensional lines. Because it takes so long, modern 3D printing really hasn’t disrupted traditional manufacturing as some predicted.

    Researchers from the school created a new method that uses two lights during the printing process – one to control where the resin hardens and another to help maintain its fluidity. This approach allows the team to create more sophisticated patterns and do so much more quickly.

    As the researchers highlight, the secret behind the technique is all in the chemistry. Walter White would be proud.

    Conventional methods rely on a photoactivator to harden the resin when light hits it. By adding in a photoinhibitor that responds to a different wavelength of light, the team is also able to keep the resin fluid when needed.

    The university has filed patent applications on the technique. Timothy Scott, an associate professor of chemical engineering and co-lead on the project, is working on a start-up to bring the approach to market.

    The team has published a paper on the method, “Rapid, continuous additive manufacturing by volumetric polymerization inhibition patterning,” in Science Advances.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,793   +3,178

    3D printing will revolutionize the manufacturing industry, in due time. The technology is still maturing.
  3. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 371   +399

    3D printing has already revolutionized plastics parts suppliers, behind the scenes. Rapid prototyping using 3D printing based on a CAD drawing has been done for many years and aids in the design of accurate molds. If this new technique is faster and as, or more, accurate, it'll take off. It's still much faster and easier to use injection molding of plastics that are made by the thousands.
    Evernessince and Misagt like this.
  4. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,294   +1,747

    Hmm, can you use the same light technique on other things to "harden" or make it more "fluid" on demand? :D
    dogofwars likes this.
  5. Plasticarm

    Plasticarm TS Rookie

    I'm pretty sure lines are 2 dimensional, not 1 dimensional.
  6. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,133   +1,551

    I wonder how this compares to Carbon 3D (https://www.carbon3d.com/). What they do is use a material on the underside that is like a contact lens and lets through some Oxygen which prevents a thin layer of resign from hardening and thus they can print at a faster speed and blah blah blah.

    The main downside the Carbon 3D is that their target audience is manufacturing and medical stuff. I got a quote from them once and you can LEASE one of their printers for $50k a year...
  7. I would have been stoked if they had printed this..
    but then I suppose 'M' stand for University of Michigan, not Michael Schenker Group

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