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TI Conference DLP 3D Printer

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Robert Rodrigues

on 21 August 2014

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Transcript of TI Conference DLP 3D Printer

A look into how DLP can
create solid objects...
What is the DLP 3D Printer?
Printer performance testing
How do you create solids with light?
... a story of two sub-systems
How the DLP 3D Printer Works...
A DLP-based 3D Printer
A reference design by Texas Instruments
High resolution
Easy to use
DLP-based stereolithography 3D printer
Meshed Object
Layer Slicing
Performed by a utility like Freesteel Z-Level slicer
Layer Sequence Creation
Created by the DLP 3D Printer GUI
Resin Exposure
Light drives a reaction that creates solids
Created by CAD tools like SolidWorks
Printed Object!
A lightweight GUI enabled by the DLP Structured Light SDK
Robust hardware design powered by the MSP430
Gives users control of major build parameters:
LED current, Z-axis step size, exposure time, resin settling time
Resolution and finish
Pitfalls of each
SLA method as compared to FDM
Modified DLP LightCrafter 4500 resin cure time testing
(Z-axis resolution)
Test Procedure
Lower platform into resin discrete amount
Expose resin to 420 nm light until layer can be removed from vat in tact
DLP 3D Printer voxel resolution testing
(X,Y-axis resolution)
Test Procedure
Print the smallest width line possible (10 pixels)
Print a line 1 pixel larger
Compare thicknesses of the printed lines to find the minimum achievable resolution
Test image
Printed surface and measurements
10 voxel wide strip = 590 microns
11 voxel wide strip = 650 microns
650 microns - 590 microns = 60 micron minimum printable resolution
Printing materials
Light source selection
Has to cure commercially available visible light resins
Has to operate within the specifications of the selected light engine
Must be easily placed in the light engine

Selected: 420 nm LED by Philips Lumileds
675 mW
replaces OEM blue LED
cures all visible light resins (<440 nm)
Voxel resolution design
highly detailed prints
Far exceed the resolution of competing FDM technology printers
Maintain a significant build envelope

Design targets
50-60 μm voxel resolution
4x finer resolution than typical FDM resolution (200 μm)
Build envelope and distance from projector to image plane
Determine envelope by calculating for 60 μm pixel size
Envelope Width = (Desired Voxel Size) * sqrt(2) * (Number of Columns)
selected DMD has 912 columns yielding an envelope width of ~77.4 mm

Distance to image plane to produce 77.4 mm image:
Related by the throw ratio of the light engine: Distance = Width * Throw ratio = 77.4 mm * 1.4 = 108 mm
Designed for ease of manufacture and use
Build Process
Top-down build process is easy to manufacture and works with ALL resins
Major components
Velmex XSlide
Major components
Minebea NEMA 23
bi-polar stepper
DLP LightCrafter 4500
...and a simple mechanical structure
DLP 3D Printer 2.0?
Bottom-up build method
Significant increase in build speed
Microcontroller firmware is easily adaptable
A few mechanical changes...
Shorter build platform
Window in bottom of resin vat
Projector relocated beneath vat
MCPCB for LED at ~100% duty cycle
Bottom-up build method
Bottom-up build method
DLP 3D Printer summary
Complete hardware solution

All components are common and easy to assemble

Full mechanical drawings for structure are available

High resolution
60 microns

Easy to use interface: GUI and hardware

Source code for GUI and microcontroller are adaptable for hardware modifications

Check out the reference design
at TI Designs!

Next steps
Remember DLP enables high resolution prints





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