A breakthrough that allows 3D printing to really transform manufacturing has been born.
Research team of Northwestern Universitya new 3d printer with a very futuristic nature is developed,The printer is much larger than the existing ones on the market at present, and the printing speed is much faster.You can print out objects the size of adults in a few hours.。 The researchers applied a method called(high area rapid printing) technology, its prototype equipment has a printing bed with a height of about 4 meters and a transverse area of nearly 1 square meter.It can set record production and produce a wider range of products on demand.
Over the past 30 years, most of the scientific research efforts in 3D printing have been aimed at challenging the limits of traditional technology. In general, the pursuit of printing larger components comes at the expense of speed, production and resolution. But now, HARP technology has to compromise with the past.It can print out a single, large-scale part or many different widgets at a time.
the research team claims that the technology can be used for stably printing hard and durable parts and elastic objects, and the innovative interface circulating liquid removing technology can break through the existing three-dimensional photoetching 3D printing limit, and can print the medical equipment and the automobile, Part of the plane and the building..........................................................Available for market in the next 18 months
It is important to note that this technology prints in the sense that people are used to calling it
The study was published today inJournal, Chad a. Mirkin, Professor of chemistry, George B. Rathmann, and director of the international nanotechnology research institute, Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University, completed the study with David Walker and James Hedrick, both of whom are researchers of Mirkin laboratory.
Large scale 3D printing process photos. Source: Northwestern University
First, break through technical constraints
At present,One of the main constraints to the development of 3D printers isQuantity of heat.Each resin based 3D printer will generate a lot of heat when it is running at high speed, sometimes even more than 180 ℃. This will raise the surface temperature to a more dangerous level, and will also cause the printed parts to crack or deform. The faster the speed, the more heat the printer generates.If it is large and fast, the heat generated is extremely strong.
This problem has tied the vast majority of 3D printing companies and can only keep a small print size, for example, the shoe box size is already a ceiling. David Walker 表示：
Northwest University's technology circumvents this problem by using anon-liquidIts performance is similar to that of liquid Teflon (Teflon, polytetrafluoroethylene). Devices that use HARP project light through a window to solidify the resin on a vertically moving plate; at the same time,
The process of large-scale 3D printing with 52 second video duration after accelerated processing (source: Northwest University)
At present, the new stereo printing technology of harp developed by the research team of Northwest University is applying for patent. Harp technology can convert liquid plastics into solid products. It uses the projected ultraviolet rays to solidify the liquid resins into hardened plastics in the vertical direction for printing. The method can print hard, elastic and even ceramic products. Compared with the laminated structure made by other common 3D printing technologies,The parts printed with HARP technology have stronger mechanical strength and can be used as parts for cars, aircraft, dentistry, orthopaedic surgery, clothing and other products.
Description of continuously printable mobile interface: A. 3D printing technical scheme of harp; B. printing speed distribution of components at different flow rates, indicating the existence of slip boundary; C. typical flow section illustration of slip boundary of printing components. Source: Science
Second, bring it to the manufacturing industry
The traditional manufacturing method is still a tedious process. Usually, the mold should be designed in advance and adjusted continuously. These molds are relatively expensive, easy to generate static electricity, and occupy storage space. To predict how many parts may need to be produced to plan the usage of the molds in advance, manufacturers also need to store the molds in a huge warehouse.3D printing can simplify the whole process and realize on-demand manufacturing.Of course, depending on how much output, there is a mold and 3 D printing between.
Although 3D printing has transitioned from prototype reference to actual production, the size and speed of 3D printers in the existing market limit the product to small size and small scale production.The equipment using harp is the first 3D printer that can simultaneously prepare large / small size parts in large quantities.
It wasn't that no one used to make large 3D printers, but other printing techniques slowed down or reduced resolution. Other parts produced by printers of the same size as HARP devices usually require grinding or reprocessing, etc.It uses high-resolution light pattern to print ready to use parts without a lot of post-processing, which is a feasible way to produce consumer goods in commercial.
As shown above: the extensive display of printed resin materials: A. Rigid machinable polyurethane acrylic parts (printing rate 120
Unicorn and black horse
Throughout the 3D printing industry, it has gone through the early stages ofThe 3D printing industry has spawned threeAmong them, 5-year-old carbon company with a valuation of US $2.4 billion led the way, followed by formlabs and desktop metal.
In China, there are also startups working in the industry, Carbon's
And will this research breakthrough from Northwest University break the existing pattern of 3D printing industry? It will take time to test, and probably not too long. The schedule given by the research team is 18 months, and the equipment can be put on the market.
Company Logo printed out by HARP technology (source: Northwestern University)
Now, James Hedrick has teamed up with a research team to create Azul 3D, a company owned by researchers and Northwestern University. Similar to the team elite background of other 3D print header companies, Azul 3D's CEO
In the current team of only a dozen people in Azul 3D, Edward Cottiss, a mechanical engineer, graduated from Virginia Institute of Technology
It may be difficult to predict where the 3D printing industry will go in the future, but unexpectedly, it should be led by these academic elites.