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Open AccessArticle

Concurrent Modelling and Experimental Investigation of Material Properties and Geometries Produced by Projection Microstereolithography

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada
2
Department of Agriculture Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030506
Received: 23 January 2020 / Revised: 19 February 2020 / Accepted: 19 February 2020 / Published: 26 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Based Polymers: Synthesis and Properties)
Projection microstereolithography additive manufacturing (PµSLA-AM) systems utilize free radical photopolymerization to selectively transform liquid resins into accurate and complex, shaped, solid parts upon UV light exposure. The material properties are coupled with geometrical accuracy, implying that optimizing one response will affect the other. Material properties can be enhanced by the post-curing process, while geometry is controlled during manufacturing. This paper uses designed experiments and analytical curing models concurrently to investigate the effects of process parameters on the green material properties (after manufacturing and before applying post curing), and the geometrical accuracy of the manufactured parts. It also presents a novel accumulated energy model that considers the light absorbance of the liquid resin and solid polymer. An essential definition, named the irradiance affected zone (IAZ), is introduced to estimate the accumulated energy for each layer and to assess the feasibility of the geometries. Innovative methodologies are used to minimize the effect of irradiance irregularities on the responses and to characterize the light absorbance of liquid and cured resin. Analogous to the working curve, an empirical model is proposed to define the critical energies required to start developing the different material properties. The results of this study can be used to develop an appropriate curing scheme, to approximate an initial solution and to define constraints for projection microstereolithography geometry optimization algorithms. View Full-Text
Keywords: additive manufacturing; stereolithography; working curve; accuracy; degree of curing; photopolymerization; mechanical properties; microfluidics; 3D printing; digital light projector (DLP) additive manufacturing; stereolithography; working curve; accuracy; degree of curing; photopolymerization; mechanical properties; microfluidics; 3D printing; digital light projector (DLP)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mostafa, K.G.; Arshad, M.; Ullah, A.; Nobes, D.S.; Qureshi, A.J. Concurrent Modelling and Experimental Investigation of Material Properties and Geometries Produced by Projection Microstereolithography. Polymers 2020, 12, 506.

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