Three-dimensional printing of polymer, metal or ceramic components is an additive manufacturing technology and enables the manufacture of individual and complex products for a variety of applications. Up to now, this manufacturing process has been a batch process and has required costly maintenance.
Sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM have developed a new production line which facilitates a continuous and automated operation for liquid synthetic materials. The first components for the consumer sector have already been manufactured.
Powder-based continuous procedures already exist. However, the manufacturing principle cannot be transferred to liquid materials as they are used in the stereolithography process. During conventional stereolithography, selected areas of each layer are cured by radiation of UV light.
This process is repeated layer by layer until the corresponding number of layers for the construction of the components has been completed. The elements are subsequently removed from the installation space, which is then set up again. This is a complex procedure which currently stands as an obstacle to mass production and also demands highly qualified staff.
Continuous manufacture using the layer-by-layer principle
The newly developed process uses the technology of continuous photopolymerisation based on the digital light processing system for the layer-by-layer manufacture of components. The significant difference compared with the usual production systems for additive manufacturing is that this new approach uses a rotating cylinder as the substrate and the flat platform is simply omitted.
The lower part of this cylinder is submerged in a liquid polymer in the process and is illuminated by multiple light sources at an exactly defined and increasing range. This is necessary in order that the polymer can selectively be cured on the surface of the cylinder in different areas at various stages.
As the cylinder gradually rotates, a three-dimensional component is built-up layer by layer on the submerged part of the cylinder. The manufactured components on the top of the cylinder can automatically be detached from the surface. The substrate surface is then ready again and the process can fully proceed.
Continuous manufacture is a great advantage particularly in view of the use of resources, as complete components constantly leave the production line and therefore operations are stabilised and thus improved. Up to now, the production cycle times of the traditional additive manufacturing procedures have been incomparable with conventional production lines of mass production.
The approach of the Fraunhofer IFAM researchers is directed towards cost-effective individual mass production and will significantly improve the economic efficiency of the additive manufacturing technique.
Sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation, file number: 87473
Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM
Juan Isaza M.Eng.
Telephone +49 421 2246-180
Martina Ohle | Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM
Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
A laser for divers
03.05.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy