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Your location: Home > Related Articles > Overview of the working principle and application advantages of UV cured 3D printing

Overview of the working principle and application advantages of UV cured 3D printing

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-03 Click:91

3D printing originated in the late 19th century in the United States, where the core idea of 3D printing was pioneered by photographic sculpture and landscape shaping technology. In 1984, Charles Hull transformed optical technology into the field of rapid prototyping and established the world's first company to produce 3D printing equipment, 3D Systems, in 1986. Since then, multiple 3D printing companies have emerged in the United States. Subsequently, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and others began actively laying out 3D printing.

With the joint efforts of many countries, 3D printing technology is accelerating its maturity, and UV cured 3D printing is one of the most important types. Photopolymerization synthesis type 3D printing technology is a general term for 3D printing technology that uses photosensitive resin materials to solidify and shape under light, mainly including three technical routes.

Firstly, it is the light curing molding technology (SLA) developed and commercialized by 3D Systems in the United States; Secondly, DLP 3D printing technology was developed by Envision TEC, a German company based on digital light processing (DLP) projector technology; Thirdly, it is the polymer jet technology (PolyJet) developed by Israel's Objet company (merged with Stratasys in 2012).

In 2020, Wu Lixin, a research group of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Functional Nanostructure Design and Assembly/Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Nanomaterials, synthesized a hydrolyzable crosslinker based on reversible covalent bonds. Adding this crosslinker to 3D printing photosensitive resin can improve the printing resolution, and the printed mold can be dissolved in hot water. This progress has attracted much attention.

Light cured 3D printing technology has become very common and has many advantages, such as high accuracy, fast speed, good surface quality, etc. It has good applications in fields such as dentistry. Of course, 3D printing also has its shortcomings. The mechanical properties of the obtained components are unstable, the currently available types of raw materials are still limited, the scale efficiency of 3D printing for standard products is not as good as traditional processing methods, and there are gaps in processing accuracy and surface roughness compared to traditional precision processing technologies. Perhaps with the continuous advancement of technology, materials, and processes, these shortcomings can be properly addressed.

The principle of UV curing 3D printing technology is that the activation energy generated by high-energy ultraviolet light in the spectrum can break the C-C bond of unsaturated polyester resin, generate free radicals, and thus cure the resin. When a photosensitizer is added to an unsaturated polyester resin, using ultraviolet or visible light as an energy source can cause the resin to undergo crosslinking reaction quickly. Therefore, the material for SLA process is photosensitive resin, which needs to fill the entire material tank. The main working equipment is the laser and galvanometer.

The galvanometer uses computer-controlled polarization to irradiate the ultraviolet light emitted by the laser onto the surface of the specified material slot liquid for solidification. The model is divided into N slices by the computer in advance, each slice can be regarded as a two-dimensional plane. After solidification, a slice plane mesh plate will take the model down to the next slice plane, and so on until printing is completed.

SLA light curing molding mainly uses photosensitive resin as the raw material. This material is generally liquid and is a mixture of photoinitiators, monomer polymers, and prepolymers. It can immediately initiate a polymerization reaction and complete curing under specific wavelength ultraviolet light (250-400 nm) irradiation.

From an application perspective, SLA photopolymerization 3D printing technology can be used in the electronics industry to produce electronic product casings. Some models are printed using photosensitive resin material with a layer thickness of 0.05mm, and the entire printing process is relatively smooth. It can be printed in just a few tens of hours, and the finished product has high printing accuracy. After further polishing and coloring, the overall effect will be even better.

Experts said that with the development of China's Internet of Things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, industrial Internet, new materials and advanced manufacturing, the 3D printing industry will achieve rapid and obvious results in localization. To achieve this goal, industry professionals also need to be grounded in reality, starting from the research and development of new materials, key technology breakthroughs, and cutting-edge equipment development, and work hard and tirelessly to strive and create.

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