Research Papers

A Novel Low-Cost Stereolithography Process Based on Vector Scanning and Mask Projection for High-Accuracy, High-Speed, High-Throughput, and Large-Area Fabrication

[+] Author and Article Information
Chi Zhou

Department of Industrial
and Systems Engineering,
University at Buffalo,
The State University of New York,
Buffalo, NY 14260
e-mail: chizhou@buffalo.edu

Hang Ye, Feng Zhang

Department of Industrial
and Systems Engineering,
University at Buffalo,
The State University of New York,
Buffalo, NY 14260

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received May 5, 2014; final manuscript received September 22, 2014; published online November 7, 2014. Editor: Bahram Ravani.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 15(1), 011003 (Mar 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: JCISE-14-1162; doi: 10.1115/1.4028848 History: Received May 05, 2014; Revised September 22, 2014; Online November 07, 2014

Photopolymerization based process is one of the most popular additive manufacturing (AM) processes. Two primary configurations for this process are laser based vector by vector scanning (0D) and projection based layer by layer exposing (2D). With the highly focused fine laser, the scanning based process can accomplish very high surface finishing and precision, however, due to the serial nature of scanning, this process suffers from the problem of slow speed. In contrast with laser scanning, projection based process can form the whole layer in one exposure, which leads to higher fabrication efficiency. However, due to the limited resolution of projection device and various optical defects, the surface quality will be significantly deteriorated for large area fabrication. To solve this problem, a novel hybrid process by integrating vector scanning and mask projection has been presented. In this process, laser is focused into a fine spot and used to scan the boundary of the layer, whereas the projector is focused onto a large platform surface and used to form the interior area of the layer. An efficient slicing method is proposed for extracting the contour for laser scanning. A slice to image conversion algorithm is also developed to convert the offset contour to grayscale image for mask projection. Experimental results have verified that the proposed hybrid process can significantly improve the fabrication speed without losing the surface quality.

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Fig. 1

Two approaches for photopolymerization processes: (a) vector scanning based SLA and (b) mask projection based SLA

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Fig. 4

Contour construction

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Fig. 3

Flow chart of the hybrid SLA system

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Fig. 2

Designed configuration of the proposed hybrid system

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Fig. 5

Mask image generation

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Fig. 6

Hearing aid model: (a) original 3D model, (b) sliced model, (c) offset contours, and (d) mask image

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Fig. 7

Accuracy and surface quality comparison based on circular plate model



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