Stereolithography (SL) is an additive manufacturing (AM) process that uses photopolymers for creating a 3D structure that has excellent surface roughness and allows precision fabrication. Nevertheless, the photopolymer used in this process is generally costly, in particular for medical-grade materials, and a relatively large amount of a photopolymer is required within vat that is necessary for this process. To overcome these disadvantages, a liquid bridge of a photopolymer formed between two plates has been suggested as an alternative to using a vat; a liquid bridge requires less photopolymer, resulting in cost savings. The proposed manufacturing platform utilizes Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology and the constrained surface method. Stacking directions using the suggested liquid bridge method have been investigated to evaluate the stability of the process, in which a liquid bridge of a photopolymer is formed between two substrates and a 3D structure is built within the liquid bridge. Finally, several manufacturing examples are introduced to prove the concept of liquid bridge SL and verify its advantage of material savings.
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Jo, KH., Lee, SH. & Choi, JW. Liquid Bridge Stereolithography: A Proof of Concept. Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf. 19, 1253–1259 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12541-018-0148-2
- Liquid bridge
- Surface tension
- Constrained surface
- Digital light processing