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By rotating the create frame, a modern 3D printing method alters the shape of objects

Mar, 2021 - By WMR

By rotating the create frame, a modern 3D printing method alters the shape of objects

A team headed by Associate Professor Cheng Sun at Northwestern University in Illinois invented the methodology. A modern and simplified method helps the printer to make the improvements while the print job is already running.

However, if users wish to alter the shape of a 3D-printed material, user must change the machine model that instructs the printer. It's used in digital light processing (DLP), a form of 3D printing in which concentrated patterns of ultraviolet light are shown through the translucent sides of a vat of photosensitive resin, causing select areas of the resin to polymerize into layers of solid material. The first layer is formed on a submerged built platform that is gradually elevated, allowing successive layers to be added one after the other. Finally, the base is lifted from the vat, with the finished 3D-printed object suspended under it.

The build platform usually rises straight up, however, in the current device, it's connected to a robotic arm that can move it both vertically and horizontally. As a result, if the user wishes to alter the shape of an object in a particular way without modifying the digital model, they will operate the arm to steadily pivot or slide the platform in the desired direction(s), skewing the build. This system also does not stop between layers, unlike most DLP systems. As a consequence, it is capable of printing 4,000 layers in under two minutes. A personalized vascular stent, a gentle pneumatic gripper, a double helix, and a small twisted Eiffel Tower have all been printed using the technique so far.

"The 3D printing process is no longer all about making a clone of the built image," Sun states. "We now have a complex mechanism that uses light to assemble all of the layers while allowing each layer to travel freely along the way."

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