Wednesday, February 6, 2019
3D Printing with light
There is a new up and coming way to 3D print and it is called the “Replicator”. It uses rays of light to solidify resin liquid or gel to create small scale objects. And you could say the whole 3D printing phenomenon is kind of also inspired by video games such as Resident Evil. How it works is that compared to conventional 3D printing that deposits plastic from a wire spool when heated up layer by layer similar to a glue gun via a programmable machine this Replicator uses technology similar to CT scanners that take X Ray image slice layers and combines them to form a whole 3D composited model. However in this case the Replicator uses the slices to create a rotating video and then is projected to the cylindrical contained liquid resin and it gradually solidifies and forms the layers as it rotates and receives the different angles of light.
This allows whole objects to be created faster and instantly rather than layer by layer. The process uses computer calculations to decompile and reverse engineer the 2D images of a 3D object. Once a certain amount of light reaches the resin it becomes a solid plastic. The only restriction currently is it works for small objects on a centimeter scale. Excess liquid is drained and removed. It also creates smoother objects but may lack detail.
This holds fascinating possibilities and we hope to see how this advances.
We found the article here that mentions this new technology.