The world of industrial photopolymer 3D printing is an exciting one, especially when it comes to materials. While I’ve got my eye on Prodways, with its line of proprietary DLP technology and resins, 3ders is reporting that the Additive Manufacturing Technology Research Institute in Guangzhou Nansha, China has developed its own SLA technology being used to 3D print cermaics, as well as metal filler materials, which might be used for dental 3D printing.
Director of the Institute Xu Xiaoshu, who is also the founder of Chinese printer manufacturer Hunan Farsoon, has explained that his new technology overcomes some of the drawbacks of traditional SLA 3D printing. For instance, typical SLA requires highly liquid material, such as plastic resin, and the print must be scraped off of the printbed once the job is complete, which can lead to damaging the print. On top of that, SLA 3D printing can be slow, though faster than FDM. To tackle these issues, the director says that their new machine combines SLA with high pressure extrusion, which will not require support structures and allows for the use of materials five to six times more viscous. He says that they’ve also managed to cut the printing time by 90%.
The printer, which is capable of printing objects as large as 800 by 400 mm with high precision, could be used to print ceramics, biomaterials, and metal composites. 3ders implies that the technology will be used for the 3D printing of porcelain teeth and that more details on the printer in the near future.