A Computer Model for Laser Photopolymerization
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A computer model for a laser induced photopolymerization process has been established which simulates stereolithography. The model couples irradiation, chemical reaction, and heat transfer equations to provide insights into rate processes occurring in the volume element contacted by the laser beam. Quantities predicted include the spatial variation in conversion of monomer to polymer, depletion of photoinitiator, and local variations in temperature in and around the spot contacted by the laser. This allows predictions to be made about the laser dwell time, depth penetration and uniformity of the photopolymer formed in the process.