LSVP 3D Printing Breakthrough: Introducing the Unleashing of High Viscosity Resins.

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Researchers have recently developed a groundbreaking 3D printing process called “LSVP,” which has the ability to handle highly viscous resins. Viscosity has long been a major obstacle in the widespread use of resin 3D printing. While companies have made significant advancements in reducing or eliminating the duration of the peeling process between layers, viscosity remains a significant challenge.

In resin printing, as a partial print is raised, fresh resin needs to flow into the space occupied by the previous cured layer. This is typically achieved through gravity, with the resin naturally flowing into the vacant spaces. However, if the resin is highly viscous, this process can take an incredibly long time or may not occur at all. This is why low viscosity resins are typically used in 3D printing, despite the desirability of using more viscous resins that are commonly used in other applications.

Current resin 3D print technology has shown that the maximum viscosity for 3D printing is 5000 cPS (centipoise), but most resins are significantly less viscous than that. Some approaches have allowed for the printing of slightly higher viscosity resins, but none have been able to reach the levels required for the broader use of commercial resins in 3D printing.

However, researchers have now developed a unique 3D printing process called “LSVP” (Linear Scan-based Vat Photopolymerization) that has the ability to handle resins with far higher viscosity. LSVP involves using a set of rollers and a FEP film. The viscous resin is applied to the ongoing print by sliding the film along the rollers, and then the laser fires between the rollers to selectively fuse the resin.

Remarkably, the LSVP system can potentially handle resins with viscosities of up to 600,000 cPs, a significant improvement compared to current capabilities. The system utilizes a laser and a prism rotating at 16,000 rpm. Light bounces off the prism and passes through a corrective mirror, ensuring that the light rays are perpendicular to the print surface.

Unlike other 3D printing methods, LSVP does not scan the entire print surface or follow a specific path. Instead, it repeatedly scans straight paths along the print surface, which is why it is referred to as “Linear”. Additionally, the design of the system minimizes any forces on the partial print, something that can cause issues with other approaches as resin viscosity increases.

While LSVP shows great promise and may eventually be commercialized, it is important to note that the system’s design is likely to make it a costly solution. The need for a laser, precision corrective mirror, and perfectly timed rotating prism is likely to result in higher costs compared to current resin 3D printer designs. However, for those seeking access to a wider range of resin materials for 3D printing, the added expense may be worthwhile.

Overall, the development of LSVP represents an exciting advancement in resin 3D printing technology. Researchers have effectively addressed the viscosity barrier, potentially opening doors to new opportunities and applications in the field.

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