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New 3D Printing Technique Creates Solid Objects Using Rays of Light


A statue created as one piece.

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have created a three-dimensional printer that can generate whole objects at once, instead of printing them layer by layer.

Credit: University of California, Berkeley

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have created a three-dimensional (3D) printer to generate whole objects at once, instead of layer by layer.

Computer Axial Lithography (CAL) carves an object out of synthetic resin that solidifies when it comes into contact with specific light patterns and intensities.

CAL printing starts with a computer simulation of a 3D object, fed into a digital video projector that beams the image into a rotating cylinder containing the resin.

Explains UC Berkeley's Hayden Taylor, "As the container rotates, the pattern that's projected changes, so over time the amount of light that each point receives can be controlled. Spots that receive a lot of light solidify, while those that do not remain liquid."

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill's Joseph DeSimone said, "This is an exciting advancement to rapidly prototype fairly small and transparent parts."

From The Washington Post
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