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Mask Image Planning for Deformation Control in Projection-Based Stereolithography Process

[+] Author Affiliations
Kai Xu, Yong Chen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. DETC2012-71523, pp. 425-437; 13 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 32nd Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4501-1
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


In this research, we investigate the shrinkage related deformation control for a mask-image-projection-based Stereolithography process (MIP-SL). Based on a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD), MIP-SL uses an area-processing approach by dynamically projecting mask images onto a resin surface to selectively cure liquid resin into layers of an object. Consequently, the related additive manufacturing process can be much faster with a lower cost than the laser-based Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) process. However, current commercially available MIP-SL systems are based on Acrylate resins, which have bigger shrinkages than epoxy resins that are widely used in the SLA process. Consequently controlling size accuracy and shape deformation in the MIP-SL process is challenging. To address the problem, we evaluate different image exposing strategies for projection mask images. A mask image planning method and related algorithms have been developed for the MIP-SL process. The planned mask images have been tested by using a commercial MIP-SL machine. The experimental results illustrate that our method can effectively reduce the deformation by as much as 32%. A discussion on the test results and future research directions are also presented.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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