Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Another release method

Here is another release method. Although the practicalities might not be quite there I think the basic idea of indexing something that causes the release might be a good one. It means you can use things that are not optically matched (or even opaque) to deform the PDMS layer.

So this time cast into the PDMS close to the upper surface is a "grill" of metal rods but this time they are there so stay. 1) The light it projected from below as normal except the image contains gaps that match the grill. At this stage we have partially printed this layer. 2) We now slide the vat by half the grill's pitch. The parts that were not cured last time can now be imaged. 3) pressing the grill downwards deforms the PDMS and releases the part. This could be done from one side to allow a gradual inflow of resin. Then the part is raised by one layer height and the grill released and the process repeated.

The same idea can actually be used on the previous concept using channels except there is no need to worry about any optical matching.

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