High-Speed Curtain Recoating for Stereolithography

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Gillo, M.
Kruth, J.-P.
Vanherck, P.

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The University of Leuven uses a liquid curtain recoating system for resin deposition in stereolithography. This system deposits new liquid layers of photo-polymer by means of a liquid curtain travelling over the build vat. Experiments have been carried out to increase the speed of the liquid curtain while depositing a layer. Speeds up to 1.2 m/s, and accelerations up to 1 g have been tested successfully, meaning that it is possible to coat high-quality layers of 75 µm thickness with this recoating technique. However, the curtain restores too slowly after acceleration. This paper discusses possible reasons and tries to formulate adequate solutions. Possible solutions consist in controlling small pressure differences in the curtain’s neighbourhood. A solution to this problem is necessary, as to make the travelling length of the curtain, and so the machine length acceptable with respect to the dimensions of the build vat.



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