Microstereophotolithography using a liquid crystal display as dynamic mask-generator
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A new laser microstereophotolithography process has been developed in our laboratory to manufacture three-dimensional parts with a high accuracy. As usual in laser stereophotolithography or laser microstereophotolithography, the part is manufactured layer by layer by a light-induced space-resolved polymerization. Until now, in all the already existing microstereophotolithography devices a layer is manufactured vector by vector, by moving the part beneath the initiating light source which remains motionless. We developed a simpler and easier process, in which we can manufacture an entire layer by irradiating its whole surface only once: we used a liquid crystal display as a dynamic generator of masks. In the device we set up, we need only one mobile element, the z translator, all the others are fixed. We manufactured several different 3D microparts, in particular a piece of bevel microgearing with helicoidal cogs, the volume of which is less than half a cubic millimetre.
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