Dispensing systems for liquid 3D printing
What could a screw, a dental prosthesis and sneaker midsoles possibly have in common? Quite a lot in fact: they are all made in the same production process. 3D printing is increasingly complementing traditional manufacturing processes and is already well established in industries such as automotive, medical and sporting goods. Moreover, 3D printing has a great potential in the area of spare parts management. Depending on the specific application, the process could shorten the production process, while reducing costs and enabling on-demand component manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing refers to a variety of specific processes. The so-called liquid printing process is where plastics are metered, mixed and cured either by a laser or the digital projection of a UV screen. METER MIX® offers a number of options for the processing of two-part polyurethane, epoxy, acrylic or silicone based materials in this application. The accurately mixed material can then be fed into the impregnating bath of the 3D printer either manually or automatically. In the next step, various production methods and technologies can be applied. For example, the SLA method (Stereolithography) involves a laser abrading the component layer by layer, until the plastic has hardened and the product can be pulled piece by piece out of the impregnating bath. A similar procedure is used in the DLP / DLS method (Digital Light Processing / Digital Light Synthesis), only with a DLP-UV projector to make the 3D image.