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An inexpensive stereolithography technology with high power UV‐LED light

Ruidong Xie (State Key Laboratory of Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, PR China)
Dichen Li (State Key Laboratory of Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, PR China)
Shuaijun Chao (School of Mechanical Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 4 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to describe the development of an inexpensive stereolithography (SL) system with high power ultraviolet light‐emitting diode (UV‐LED) curing light source. The advantages of UV‐LED light source will be investigated and the results presented.

Design/methodology/approach

The working principle of the UV‐LED light‐based SL system (LED‐SL) and its characteristics were explicated; the effect of beam divergence angle on the shape of a single cured line was analyzed; and the effects of the shapes of single cured lines shone by different light sources on the fabrication accuracy were compared.

Findings

LED‐SL has significantly higher part fabrication efficiency and accuracy than UV lamplight‐based prototyping systems. Furthermore, the UV‐LED energy consumption is much lower than laser and UV lamp sources, which conforms to the requirement of Green Manufacturing.

Research limitations/implications

In increasing the scanning speed, the vibration of the focusing lens set has an obvious effect on the scanning accuracy; therefore, further research is needed.

Originality/value

This research verified the feasibility of adopting high power UV‐LED as the light source for a rapid prototyping system and enhanced the versatility of conventional UV‐SL technology.

Keywords

Citation

Xie, R., Li, D. and Chao, S. (2011), "An inexpensive stereolithography technology with high power UV‐LED light", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 441-450. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552541111184170

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited