3D Printing: A Revolution in the Making
We've been keeping an eye on developments in the world of 3D printing for the last couple of years. The subject is getting a lot of attention recently because 3D printing is now cheaper and more efficient and there are whole lot more players in the market. Of course, aside from the fact that 3D printing could have complete and utter game changing impact on our entire consumer culture, our interest for this post lies in the technology's innards which include DLP projection.
The 3D Printing process builds a three-dimensional object by laying down
successive layers of material. A CAD model of the object is converted into a series of cross-sectional slices that are sent to the 3D printer. The reason this technology gets my attention is that it is the digital micro mirror device (DMD) found at the core of DLP technology that gives 3D printers their speed and accuracy. Liquid photopolymer resins are used to build objects. For each cross-sectional slice of the object, the DMD projects patterned lightto exposes and harden the resin. Additionally, Projection
optics are used to control the resolution on the image
plane and adjust the layer thickness for a smooth and accurate finished product.
Ponder, just for a minute, what this technology could mean for our world.