Calibrating Large-area Mask Projection Stereolithography for Its Accuracy and Resolution Improvements

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Zhou, Chi
Chen, Yong

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University of Texas at Austin


Solid freeform fabrication (SFF) processes based on mask image projection such as digital micro-mirror devices (DMD) have the potential to be fast and inexpensive. More and more research and commercial systems have been developed based on such digital devices. However, a digital light processing (DLP) projector based on DMD has limited resolution and certain image blurring. In order to use a DLP projector in the large-area mask projection stereolithography, it is critical to plan mask images in order to achieve high accuracy and resolution. Based on our previous work on optimized pixel blending, we present a calibration method for capturing the non-uniformity of a projection image by a low cost off-the-shelf DLP projector. Our method is based on two calibration systems, a geometric calibration system that can calibrate the position, shape, size, and orientation of a pixel and an energy calibration system that can calibrate the light intensity of a pixel. Based on both results, the light intensity at various grayscale levels can be approximated for each pixel. Developing a library of such approximation functions is critical for the optimized pixel blending to generate a better mask image plan. Experimental results verify our calibration results.


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