Traditional liquid resin printing utilizes a layer-by-layer print mechanism. In addition to these techniques being slow, they create strains and stresses in printed parts from being printed one layer or voxel at a time. To counter this, resins have increased in viscosity over the years to build the bulk of material properties before going onto the printer. This further reduces print speeds. With continuous printing, you can build a network from smaller building blocks at steady-state in a true layer-less format. Beyond removing the stresses and strains created from the inhomogenous curing during layered approaches, it gives you greater control over the network. We will show a new method for changing the material properties at a voxel level through how we connect our blocks together. This new method enables the ability to create composite structures with a single resin using standard continuous vat polymerization hardware. Unlike previous methods of multi-material parts with a single resin, our system doesn't rely on breaking bonds or under-curing the system but rather making fundamentally different polymer networks in different regions of the part. We will show how implementing this novel technique combined with design for additive manufacturing pushes the boundaries of polymer AM in real commercial parts.
- Understand how polymers are built one block at a time and the importance of controlling the blocks at individual voxel levels to ensure the best properties.
- Identify where parts are material-limited rather than geometry Understand the need for composite structures in additive manufacturing and how the approach is fundamentally different than composites in traditional manufacturing.
- Identifying when a heterogeneous polymer network adds strength and when it weakens the part.