Hot Lithography – New Possibilities in Polymer 3D Printing

Process chamber of Caligma 200 (Source: Cubicure)

Among different strategies and technologies of polymer 3D printing, stereolithography (SLA) is the method of choice with respect to highest possible resolution and surface quality of the final printed parts. However, the material properties of conventional cured resins are the biggest challenge in SLA technologies. Hence, the printed parts are subjected only to a limited extent for technical applications.

Dilemma of polymer 3D-printing (Source: Cubicure)

The aim of the company Cubicure is the additive manufacturing of polymer parts with outstanding material properties, such has high impact strength and high heat deflection temperature while, at the same time, having the highest possible surface quality.

This is possible through newly developed photopolymers in addition with a new and innovative 3D printing process, the hot lithography. Cubicure’s resins are highly viscous at room temperature. The hot lithography printer Caligma 200 takes advantage of the temperature dependency of a fluid’s viscosity. The machine contains a special coating unit and operates at temperatures up to 120°C. Consequently, only this machine is capable of processing high viscosity pastes and resins. The high precision laser system offers a resolution of 25 µm at a building envelope of 200 x 100 x 300 mm³.

Depending on the size of the printed parts, the Caligma 200 allows the production of functional prototypes at low lot size but also series production of several hundred or even thousands of end-product parts.

Cubicure represents the entire value chain from material development and production to stereolithographic processing. Beside customer or application specific material developments Cubicure offers two standard resins for its hot lithography; Cubicure Evolution for functional prototyping and Cubicure Precision for microfabrication. At the Formnext fair (hall 3.1, booth G59), Cubicure launches a further new innovative photopolymer. It is very strong and durable, for operational temperatures of 250°C and higher. Using this latest material, the user is now able to directly manufacture ready-to-use parts with tremendous accuracy, surface quality, and outstanding material properties. (Source: Cubicure)

Reference: M. Pfaffinger: Hot Lithography – New Possibilities in Polymer 3D Printing, online 5 October 2018, DOI: 10.1002/latj.201800024

Link: Cubicure GmbH, Vienna, Austria 

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