Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

3-D printing hits fast lane: Engineers cut time to 3-D-print heterogeneous objects from hours to minutes

Date:
November 20, 2013
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
Three-dimensional printing has long had the potential to revolutionize manufacturing, but so far its application in the marketplace has been held back by slow fabrication, especially for heterogeneous objects. Many objects comprise more than one material, which allows for certain parts to be rigid while other parts remain flexible (e.g. tweezers; prosthetics). Scientists have now developed a 3-D printing process that fabricates such objects very time- and cost-efficiently.

A computer model of a pair of tweezers shows the distribution of materials and degrees of hardness in the object to be 3-D printed in Dr. Yong Chen's lab at USC Viterbi.
Credit: USC Viterbi

Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed a faster 3D printing process and are now using it to model and fabricate heterogeneous objects, which comprise multiple materials.

Although 3D printing -- or direct digital manufacturing -- has the potential to revolutionize various industries by providing faster, cheaper and more accurate manufacturing options, fabrication time and the complexity of multi-material objects have long been a hurdle to its widespread use in the marketplace. With this newly developed 3D printing process, however, USC Viterbi professor Yong Chen and his team have shaved the fabrication time down to minutes, bringing the manufacturing world one step closer to achieving its goal.

"Digital material design and fabrication enables controlled material distributions of multiple base materials in a product component for significantly improved design performance. Such fabrication capability opens up exciting new options that were previously impossible," said Yong Chen, Ph.D., professor in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the study's lead researcher.

Traditional modeling and prototyping approaches used to take days, but over the past several decades various additive manufacturing (AM) processes have been developed to fabricate both homogeneous and heterogeneous objects more quickly. Currently, AM processes such as multi-jet modeling, which create a solid 3D object from a digital model by laying down successive layers of material, can fabricate a complex object in a matter of hours.

Last year, Chen and another team of USC Viterbi researchers improved an AM-related process called mask-image-projection-based stereolithography (MIP-SL) to drastically speed up the fabrication of homogeneous 3D objects. In the MIP-SL process, a 3D digital model of an object is sliced by a set of horizontal planes and each slice is converted into a two-dimensional mask image. The mask image is then projected onto a photocurable liquid resin surface and light is projected onto the resin to cure it in the shape of the related layer.

Furthermore, the USC Viterbi team developed a two-way movement design for bottom-up projection so that the resin could be quickly spread into uniform thin layers. As a result, production time was cut from hours to a few minutes. In their latest paper, the team successfully applies this more efficient process to the fabrication of heterogeneous objects that comprise different materials that cure at different rates. This new 3D printing process will allow heterogeneous prototypes and objects such as dental and robotics models to be fabricated more cost- and time-efficiently than ever before.

In future work, Chen and his team will investigate how to develop an automatic design approach for heterogeneous material distribution according to user-specified physical properties and how to improve the fabrication speed.

Chen and USC Viterbi industrial and systems engineering doctoral candidates students Pu Huang and Dongping Deng are presenting their findings at ASME's 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in San Diego on November 20th.

Video: http://vimeo.com/79412743


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "3-D printing hits fast lane: Engineers cut time to 3-D-print heterogeneous objects from hours to minutes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120133741.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2013, November 20). 3-D printing hits fast lane: Engineers cut time to 3-D-print heterogeneous objects from hours to minutes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120133741.htm
University of Southern California. "3-D printing hits fast lane: Engineers cut time to 3-D-print heterogeneous objects from hours to minutes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120133741.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins