Technical Brief

Fast Mask Image Projection-Based Micro-Stereolithography Process for Complex Geometry

[+] Author and Article Information
Yayue Pan

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering,
University of Illinois at Chicago,
842 W. Taylor Street,
ERF 2039,
Chicago, IL 60607
e-mail: yayuepan@uic.edu

Yong Chen

Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering,
University of Southern California,
3715 McClintock Avenue,
GER 201,
Los Angeles, CA 90089
e-mail: yongchen@usc.edu

Zuyao Yu

School of Ship and Ocean Engineering,
Huazhong University of Science and Technology,
1037 Luoyu Road,
East Building 2-118,
Wuhan 430074, Hubei
e-mail: yuzuyao@163.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received April 19, 2016; final manuscript received November 30, 2016; published online January 6, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Cheryl Xu.

J. Micro Nano-Manuf 5(1), 014501 (Jan 06, 2017) (6 pages) Paper No: JMNM-16-1013; doi: 10.1115/1.4035388 History: Received April 19, 2016; Revised November 30, 2016

In micro-stereolithograhy (μSL), high-speed fabrication is a critical challenge due to the long delay time for refreshing resin and retaining printed microfeatures. Thus, the mask-image-projection-based micro-stereolithograhy (MIP-μSL) using the constrained surface technique is investigated in this paper for quickly recoating liquid resin. It was reported in the literature that severe damages frequently happen in the part separation process in the constrained-surface-based MIP-μSL system. To conquer this problem, a single-layer movement separation approach was adopted, and the minimum delay time for refreshing resin was experimentally characterized. The experimental results verify that, compared with the existing MIP-μSL processes, the MIP-μSL process with single-layer movement separation method developed in this paper can build microstructures with complex geometry, with a faster build speed.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of MIP-μSL systems based on the top–down projection method (a) and the bottom–up projection method (b)

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Fig. 2

Test results for identifying the minimum gap size and waiting time: (a) CAD model; (b) built part with insufficient waiting time; (c) void-free parts; (d) surface with a hole; (e) shadows due to incomplete filling; and (f) void-free surface

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Fig. 3

The flow-filling time with different Z movement distance

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Fig. 4

Build time of a layer in a constrained-surface MIP-μSL process with the proposed single-layer movement approach

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Fig. 5

Hardware setup of the developed MIP-μSL testbed

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Fig. 6

Software setup of the developed fast micro-stereolithography and the related process flowchart

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Fig. 7 A

microgear: (a) CAD model; (b) built part; and (c) microscopic image

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Fig. 8

A turbofan: (a) CAD model and (b) microscopic image of the built part

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Fig. 9

A hearing-aid: (a) CAD model with added supports; (b) built physical object; and (c) microscopic image of the built part (top view)

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Fig. 10

A threaded pipe: (a) CAD model of the pipe and (b)–(e) built physical object



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