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Rapid Manufacturing in Minutes: The Development of a Mask Projection Stereolithography Process for High-Speed Fabrication

[+] Author Affiliations
Yayue Pan, Chi Zhou, Yong Chen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. MSEC2012-7232, pp. 405-414; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference collocated with the 40th North American Manufacturing Research Conference and in participation with the International Conference on Tribology Materials and Processing
  • ASME 2012 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference
  • Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, June 4–8, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Manufacturing Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5499-0
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


The purpose of this paper is to present a direct digital manufacturing (DDM) process that is an order of magnitude faster than other DDM processes currently available. The developed process is based on a mask-image-projection-based Stereolithography process (MIP-SL), during which a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) controlled projection light cures and cross-links liquid photopolymer resin. In order to achieve high-speed fabrication, we investigated the bottom-up projection system in the MIP-SL process. A set of techniques including film coating and the combination of two-way linear motions have been developed for the quick spreading of liquid resin into uniform thin layers. The process parameters and related settings to achieve the fabrication speed of a few seconds per layer are presented. Additionally, the hardware, software, and material setups developed for fabricating given three-dimensional (3D) digital models are presented. Experimental studies using the developed testbed have been performed to verify the effectiveness and efficiency of the presented fast MIP-SL process. The test results illustrate that the newly developed process can build a moderately sized part within minutes instead of hours that are typically required.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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