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New 3D Printing Technique Could Print 100 Times Faster Using Light

A new method of 3D printing could make it possible to create materials up to 100 times faster than is currently possible. A team of researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) has developed the new method, which lifts complex shapes out of a vat of liquid—much like the T-1000 in Terminator 2 —rather than building up plastic filaments one layer at a time. The researchers’ method uses two lights to control where a liquid resin hardens: a photoactivator hardens the resin wherever one light shines, and a photoinhibitor prevents the resin from hardening. This allows the team to solidify the resin in sophisticated patterns—creating a 3D bas-relief in a single print run rather than in a series of 2D cross-sections. So far, the team has used the process to print a lattice, a toy boat and a block “M” logo of their university. This kind of printing first […]


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