Customised Layer Deposition for Chemical Reactor Applications

Singh, J.
Hauser, C.
Chalker, P.R.
Sutcliffe, C.J.
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University of Texas at Austin

This paper discusses the development and application of an adaptive slicing algorithm for use with Digital Light Processing (DLP) for the manufacture of micro chemical reactors. Micro reactors have highly complex constructions and DLP has a proven ability to deliver features at the micro level with high accuracy. However, DLP fails to provide a truly smooth profiled surface finish which could influence fluid flow through entrance and exit apertures and along snaking micro channels. Ensuring smooth surfaces will minimise energy losses in the fluid flow path. Generally, layer based manufacturing techniques incur a trade off between build time and resolution. The algorithms used in this study attempt to mitigate this to some degree by calculating locations where high resolution is required through surface profiling techniques and adjusts the layer thickness accordingly. It is proposed that this adaptive layering technique may improve surface roughness and reduce friction related energy losses along micro channels within chemical reactor applications.