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Photopolymer rapid opto-electronic manufacture of macro/micro prototype products (PROMPT)


Objectives and content:
The final objective of this proposal is the straight away manufacture of parts and moulds made of ceramic or metal by stereolithography (SL), by adding fillers (ceramic or metallic powders) to the curable resin. To reduce the present fabrication times and costs, our really innovative approach consists in manufacturing a part layer by layer and no longer point by point. SL allows manufacturing complex three-dimensional parts and enabling many thousands of companies (automotive, aerospace, medical design engineers, etc.) to turn their CAD drawings into full-scale models rapidly, speeding up their new product designs. Its present principle is the following: the part is manufactured layer by layer by curing a liquid photosensitive resin with an UV laser beam, which is deflected by two computer-controlled mirrors. So every layer, and consequently the part, is manufactured point by point.

This leads to a trade-off between processing speed and part resolution, precise parts requiring long processing times. Our project consists in manufacturing parts, no longer point by point, but layer by layer directly by shaping the laser beam: the light itself will carry the design of the layer prior to irradiate the open surface of the resin. It will then be possible to manufacture a layer by one UV irradiation only: its processing time will become independent of the complexity of its design. Different ways to shape the beam will be conceived, UV lasers having to be used for chemical reasons. One of the partners of this consortium built a feasibility set-up of these SL machines of the next generation, proving the viability of the project. For a rapid demonstration with a liquid crystal display as dynamic masks generator, he used a visible laser. The obtained accuracy was 5 m when the present typical accuracy lies between 50 and 100 m. It is expected to provide such level of resolution to va BE97-4972

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts



Participants (4)

Rue Grandville 1
54001 Nancy
Cubital Ltd.
13,Hasadna Street
43100 Ra'anna
Stil SA
80,Rue Charles Duchesne
13851 Aix En Provence
University of Sussex
United Kingdom
BN1 9QT Brighton - East Sussex