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Rapid multi-material 3D printing with projection micro-stereolithography using dynamic fluidic control

Cited 125 time in Web of Science Cited 146 time in Scopus

Han, Daehoon; Yang, Chen; Fang, Nicholas X.; Lee, Howon

Issue Date
Elsevier BV
Additive Manufacturing, Vol.27, pp.606-615
Mask projection stereolithography is a digital light processing-based additive manufacturing technique that has various advantages, such as high-resolution, scanning-free parallel process, wide material sets available, and support-structure-free three-dimensional (3D) printing. However, multi-material 3D printing with mask projection stereolithography has been challenging due to difficulties of exchanging a liquid-state material in a vat. In this work, we report a rapid multi-material projection micro-stereolithography using dynamic fluidic control of multiple liquid photopolymers within an integrated fluidic cell. Highly complex multi-material 3D microstructures are rapidly fabricated through an active material exchange process. Material flow rate in the fluidic cell, material exchange efficiency, and the effects of energy dosage on curing depth are studied for various photopolymers. In addition, the degree of cross-contamination between different materials in a 3D printed multimaterial structure is evaluated to assess the quality of multi-material printing. The pressure-tight and leak-free fluidic cell enables active and fast switch between liquid photopolymers, even including micro-/nano-particle suspensions, which could potentially lead to facile 3D printing of multi-material metallic/ceramic structures or heterogeneous biomaterials. In addition, a multi-responsive hydrogel micro-structure is printed using a thermoresponsive hydrogel and an electroactive hydrogel, showing various modes of swelling actuation in response to multiple external stimuli. This new ability to rapidly and heterogeneously integrate multiple functional materials in three-dimension at micro-scale has potential to accelerate advances in many emerging areas including 3D metamaterials, tissue engineering, and soft robotics.
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  • College of Engineering
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
Research Area Additive Manufacturing, Architected Materials, Programmable Matter


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