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Disney Research Just Invented a “3D Copier” That Uses Light-Cured Resin to Duplicate Entire Objects Instantly

by • May 4, 2016 • No Comments

3dp_3dcopier_Disney_Research_logoBy means of light-cured resins to 3D print physical objects is not a new innovation. In fact, the oldest form of 3D printing is stereolithography (SLA), a system that uses a laser to complexen individual layers of liquid resin until a full object is deplete. By means of a much like concept, direct light projection (DLP) in fact uses a powerful light projector somewhat than a laser and is capable of printing an entire layer at a time. There are in addition superswift variations of this system like Carbon3D and their CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) innovation and NewPro3D and their ILI (Intelligent Liquid Interface) system that can turn it into 3D versions approximately forty times as swift as standard SLA 3D printing devices.

But it looks like actually CLIP and ILI can seem slow in comparison to the new system that is mentioned in a patent application filed last month by Disney Research. The patent innovation is mentioned as a new 3D printing innovation that can print a fully 3D object all at once somewhat than layer-by-layer. The patent contains sat any timeal various variations of the system, that include one that may allow users to place a real world object on a turn it intoated capture platform and and so duplicate it in a vat of liquid resin approximately automatically. One other variation may project what is fundamentally a hologram of a 3D object into the vat of resin and and so automatically solidify the outer shell. And another may allow for an object to have its outer shell solidified while concurrently having assist structures or a few other type of infill solidified. The system is mentioned in the Disney Research patent application:

A chart detailing the system of printing inner structures to the 3D object.

A chart detailing the system of printing inner structures to the 3D object.

“Briefly, a 3D printing device (and corresponding 3D print method) is mentioned that is modified
for “printing” or generating a 3D object in a manner that circumvents the layer-by-layer approach of conventional 3D printing devices that has significantly limited achievable printing speeds. In one turn it into approach, the 3D printing device is configured with the assumption that a physical “original” of a 3D object may already exists (not just a digital version of a 3D object). In this initially 3D printing device turn it into, the 3D printing device acts as a high speed copying machine for the reason it uses an optical assembly or a set of optics that relays a volumetric real image (versus a virtual image) of the existing or target 3D object into a vat or container holding a volume of photo-curing liquid resin.”

Basically, Disney Research just designed the “3D Copier.” It is a system that can be capable of what may be mentioned as instantaneous 3D scanning and 3D printing. It calls for an object to be placed on a special platform that can have a series of lights projected on it. This can outcome in a three dimensional silhouette of the object, much most likely to how a 3D laser scanner works. This 3D silhouette may and so be projected in real time into a vat of liquid resin and approximately automatically solidified into a duplicate of the original object. The patent application goes on to describe the system, defines how rapidly the 3D object can be printed, the method of assisting the newly created 3D structure and its removal.

“The light synonymous with the volumetric real image, that is provided by one or additional light sources directing light onto the existing or target 3D object, causes a portion or volume of the photo-curing liquid to be cured in a just of instantaneous manner to generate or turn it into the entire 3D object (somewhat than slowly and layer-by-layer as with conventional 3D printing devices). The printed or created 3D object, that is floating in or assisted in the uncured liquid (e.g., a resin selected to be translucent to transparent to light and in addition viscous to assist the in-system 3D object), can just be lifted out of the vat/container. In sat any timeal testing operations, a 3D printing device via photo-curing liquids has been proven effective in generating 3D objects in sat any timeal minutes or less somewhat than in sat any timeal hours.”

A chart detailing the system of duplicating an object placed on a platform.

A chart detailing the system of duplicating an object placed on a platform.

In their application, Disney calls their new 3D copying system “3D Printing by Volumetric Addition Through Selective Curing of a Fluid Matrix”. The system can be utilized with sat any timeal various types of resins that can be selected or formulated to contain photoinitiators that can just complexen at specific wavelengths of light. It can use both visible or invisible, yet they do mention that resins sensitive to invisible wavelengths don’t seem as affected by ambient light. Disney Research mentioned sat any timeal successful applications via various light sources, that include blue light projected at a 450 nanometer (nm) wavelength, violet light projected at a 405nm wavelength and invisible ultraviolet light projected at a wavelength of 365nm. The type of resin selected can in addition determine the resolution and printing volume.

“[T]he resin acts to both absorb and transmit light at the curing wavelength. Higher absorption outcomes in a swifter rate of curing but in addition a shorter maximal curing depth. The maximal curing depth determines the dimensions of the biggest object that can be cured. High transmission outcomes in a slower rate of curing but in addition a longer maximal curing depth. These two competing requirements mean that there exists a tradeoff between curing rate and the maximum cured object dimensions.”

A chart detailing the system of duplicating an object placed on a turntable.

A chart detailing the system of duplicating an object placed on a turntable.

Whilst the patent is detailed of the system, the specific types of technologies that are employed are left somewhat vague, so there is quite no when or if we will at any time see this innovation. Whilst Disney has empowered their research division to explore and turn it into all kinds of innovation, they tend to focus on things that can be applied to their existing business versions, so it is unmost likely that they’ll be making and selling 3D printing devices. A additional most likely scenario is that the innovation can be utilized to turn it into custom toys, say with visitors’ faces on them, that can be created automatically while the customer waits at their theme parks.

The patent application is somewhat thorough, and as is typical for these types of documents the language is quite deliberate and specific. That coupled with a lot of run on sentences means that it is going to be somewhat complex to read, but if you are so inclined you can check out a PDF of the sactuallyteen-page document here. And you can learn additional of Disney Research and a few of their other cutting-edge projects on their website. Discuss in the Disney 3D Printer Patent Request forum over at 3DPB.com.