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The process begins with creating a rectangular sheet of light using a laser fired into a tub of liquid precursor. The laser excites the precursor molecules inside of the rectangle, preparing them for the second beam of light. The second laser is then directed into the rectangle as a preformed image slice. When the slice is projected into the rectangle, the excited precursor molecules solidify into a polymer, forming a solidified slice. The resin volume is then moved (the light sheet remains fixed in place) so that the process can be repeated to create another slice. The overall process is repeated, creating more slices as it goes, until the desired shape is achieved.
The researchers demonstrated the improved resolution of their technique by first 3-D printing a tiny ball trapped inside of an 8-mm-diameter spherical cage. They followed that up by printing an aspherical Powell lens and then a 3-cm diameter bust of a human being.
Martin Regehly et al. Xolography for linear volumetric 3D printing, Nature (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-3029-7
Cameron Darkes-Burkey et al. High-resolution 3D printing in seconds, Nature (2020). DOI: 10.1038/d41586-020-03543-3
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New chemistry for controlling the volume of liquid in volumetric additive manufacturing (2020, December 24)
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