microCLIP Ceramic High-Resolution Fabrication and Dimensional Accuracy Requirements

Ware, Henry Oliver T
Sun, Cheng
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University of Texas at Austin

Ceramics have been broadly used as structural and functional materials with a wide range of engineering applications. Recent introduction of Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) uses projection UV photopolymerization and oxygen inhibition to tremendously reduce fabrication time. In addition to 3D printing polymeric materials, it has demonstrated the feasibility of fabricating 3D ceramic parts using photo-curable ceramic resins. However, the associated ceramic particle light-scattering significantly alters the process characteristics of the CLIP process, resulting in broadening of the lateral dimensions in associated with the reduction in the curing depth. Varying the exposure conditions to accommodate the scattering effect further affects the deadzone thickness, which introduces a systematic defocusing error to further complicate the process control. In this work we show that careful characterization and balance of both effects yields an optimal set of process parameters (UV Power and stage speed) for high-resolution 3D fabrication with a given photo-curable ceramic resin.