Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New USC process offers faster, cheaper 3D ’printouts’

25.11.2003



Desktop manufacturing for home desks seen

A University of Southern California inventor has created a machine that can produce 3-dimensional "printouts" in plastic and even metal more quickly and cheaply than widely-used existing systems.

The new machine is a significant improvement on the laser sintering machines now widely used around the world to build complex 3D forms from computer files, according to its creator, Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the USC School of Engineering’s Daniel J. Epstein department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.



One patent has been granted and others are pending on the process, which may eventually put 3D object-making within reach of home offices.

Both traditional laser sintering and Dr. Khoshnevis’ "Selective Inhibition of Sintering" (SIS) process start with CAD ("computer aided design) three-dimensional form creation software.

The three-dimensional shapes visualized in the computer are re-visualized as stacks of very thin virtual layers. Then, each virtual layer is transformed into a real one.

Sintering machines build up objects by spreading a less- than-1 millimeter thick layer of powdered plastic or other material in a work area, and then melting ("sintering") selected areas, guided by the computer pattern. The process is repeated multiple times, with unmelted powder shaken off or blown away at the end of the process.

The result is to gradually build up complex forms, layer by layer. Such structures as free rolling balls inside of cages, for example, can easily be made.

The objects created were once almost exclusively used as molds or prototypes for die-casting, stamping or other traditional mass-production processes, and this role gave the name "rapid prototyping" to such processes. But with the increasing sophistication of techniques, some companies now use R-P processes - and particularly laser sintering -- for what is now called "direct manufacturing" or "desktop manufacturing" of final products.

Existing machines use a moving laser beam traveling over the work area to do the melting. SIS, for "Selective Inhibition Sintering" instead automatically treats some of the powder applied to resist bonding with adjacent particles under heat, and then exposes the entire piece to uniform, high-intensity heat. Untreated areas of powder sinter. Treated areas do not.

Various anti-sintering materials can be used, including salt water.

Khoshnevis says the SIS process has several advantages over laser machines. The lasers and scanners used in such machines are extremely expensive (up to $100,000 each), short-lived, and energy intensive, he notes, while the heat source for an SIS can be a low- tech gas flame, or an inexpensive electrical heater filament. The cheap, high heat possible with the SIS process makes the use of metals as well as plastics feasible.

Finally, because lasers have to scan out the entire work area, turning on and off to melt the needed areas, they are intrinsically slower in building up pieces, with large, complicated pieces requiring many hours, or even days. The SIS machine can complete a layer in as little as 15 seconds.

The advantages of the process make it possible to see a wider range of use for such machines. "Down the line," says Dr. Khoshnevis, "home offices may have them, right alongside the printer." Shops may have similar, heavier duty units, he said, filling work niches now held by lathes and milling machines.

Khoshnevis now has a working prototype machine, the performance of which he has demonstrated at various conferences.


Khoshnevis’ research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Behrokh Khoshnevis Web site http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~khoshnev/

Eric Mankin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu/
http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~khoshnev/

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world
08.02.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

nachricht New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components
23.01.2017 | Evonik Industries AG

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>