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SPEEDRE
11-04-2013, 03:25 PM
How hard would it be to evolve into fused deposition, I think that's what it's called. I recently watched a video of one printing some quarter scale models and it wasn't clear how the powdered media was applied. I am lead to understand it is applied with a squeegee type movement, that is to say it is leveled with a sweep of an leveling blade like edge. How hard would it be to set up with steppers and suitable processor? The same could be done for the UV light bar to cure it properly timed of course. Am I even close in my understanding of this process, or am I dreaming?

awerby
11-04-2013, 03:58 PM
I think you're confused by the terminology. Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is a proprietary term for the common "hot glue-gun on steroids" type of 3D printer that's become common lately; the plastic material is heated in an extruder and deposited in molten form. UV-cured systems are a step up from that, but they use a liquid photo-reactive resin that solidifies in the presence of light. That process is called Stereolithography if a laser is used to cure the resin , or DLP (Direct Light Processing) if a projector is used to expose a whole slice at a time. The process you're talking about, where a layer of powder is laid down and fused in place, is called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). I don't think UV light is used in these systems; it's generally a CO2 laser, which produces light in the infrared spectrum. This type of printer is still protected by patents (unlike the FDM process) but the core patents are expiring next year, so expect to see more entrants in this category soon.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com

SPEEDRE
11-06-2013, 02:10 PM
O.K. Thanks for the clarifications, all good information. Thanks