3D printing using laser-based AM assembles an item’s final complex architecture from discrete volume elements, or voxels.
The rate at which these voxels can be individually 3D-printed is one key metric for the efficiency of the overall manufacturing operation. Another is the smallest size of voxel than a particular platform can achieve.
A project at Karlsruhe Institute of technology has conducted a survey of existing 3D print approaches, in order then to design a new platform capable of achieving faster deposition rates than those currently available. The work was published in Advanced Functional Materials. The survey indicated the potential value of two-photon printing (2PP), in which the multiphoton absorption process effectively confines the excitation of the photo-sensitive material in all three dimensions at the same time. Sub-micron voxel sizes have been achieved using 2PP, but at widely varied printing rates.
One way to improve rates is to scan more than one laser focus at the same time, although this can reduce the power of each individual beam and put significant demands on the galvo-mirror scanning optics used by a multi-beam platform.
“We apply this improved technology to a 3D mechanical metamaterial composed of an exceptionally large number of unit cells, which would not have been possible without this advance.”, can be read in the paper.
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Optics.org, Multi-beam additive manufacturing platform achieves “unmatched speed” https://optics.org/news/11/1/62 published on Feb12 2020, re-edited and published by João Andrade on Feb14 2020;
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