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Speedy 3D Printer Uses Light Projected Into Resin To Create Solid Objects All In One Go, Rather Than In Layers

Saturday February 2, 2019. 11:00 AM , from Slashdot
A research team from the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has created a printer -- nicknamed the 'replicator' -- that shines light onto specific spots in a rotating resin that solidifies when exposed to a certain light level. What this does is forms the entire item all in one go, rather that forming items by laying down one layer of material at a time, like most 3D printers. MIT Technology Review reports: 'We've carried out a range of prints taking from 30 seconds to a few minutes,' says senior author Hayden Taylor. He reckons that printing the same objects in the traditional way could take more than an hour. While the machine competes on speed, it still cannot match the details and size that other printers can achieve. The biggest item it can print right now is just four inches (10 centimeters) in diameter. Other printers can make things measured in meters. The sophistication of the machine lies in the software that creates intricate light patterns to accurate solidify the material.

The printer itself is fairly straightforward. It uses an off-the-shelf video projector plugged into a laptop that projects images of what you want to create, while a motor turns the cylinder of resin. Taylor thinks that because it's so relatively uncomplicated, both commercial and at-home versions of the printer are feasible. 'The barrier to creating a very simple version of this tool is not that high,' he says.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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