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3D printers are now surprisingly cheap. I 3D printed a
pencil holder while doing work experience at a nuclear
engineering company back in the late 90's and was told it
probably cost $30,000, if it weren't a
exercise". Now, 3D printers cost about as much as 2D
and are hilariously cheaper to run.
I got one myself, it works like this: At the bottom there
an LCD screen, similar to the one you're looking at, only
monochrome - black and white if you will. Instead of
however, the screen allows UV* light to pass through
forming any image you like. Above the screen is a bath of
goo. When exposed to the UV image, the goo stops being
goo and starts being plastic. So far, you can make a 2D
The 3D part is where the build platform** comes in. The
platform is a solid lump of flat aluminum that begins
~0.1mm from the screen with ~0.1mm of goo between it
and the screen surface, then when the first UV image is
formed, the goo polymerizes on the surface of the
platform. The platform moves up 0.1mm and the process
repeats until your shape emerges from the goo, upside
down attached to the platform. Lovely. What more can
need? Well, the plastic formed is just plastic, it has great
properties, like corrosion resistance, flexibility etc. but
add in reinforcement like glass or carbon fiber and you
create a composite material. These can be made with
extraordinary properties, huge strength-to-weight ratios,
complex shapes and the reinforcement material can be
selectively arranged to provide rigidity/flexibility in
specific directions & areas.
A common composite you might find in a typical power
tool, usually nylon with ~30% glass fiber reinforcement.
These parts are injection molded with short glass fibers
randomly distributed in the molten plastic. There's no
control of the fiber orientation, because the part is
all in one go. More sophisticated components, like in F1
cars or aircraft, lay sheets of woven fiber, usually by
and carefully control orientation in that manner. But
can we do with the 3D printer?
So, take glass/carbon fibers and modify them to have a
end and a -ve end. In something like artificial spider's
this already an inherent property, one end is a carboxylic
acid that loses a proton to become -ve, the other end is
amine that gains a proton to become +ve and the whole
molecule is net 0 charge, but will happily align itself
an electric field.
Now, in our 3D printer we have goo, containing randomly
arranged fibers with +ve/-ve ends. Now, just before we
turn on the UV light to polymerize the plastic, we apply
electric field across say, the x axis. All the fibers line up
and then you turn on the light. Now the reinforcement is
aligned, and better yet, you get control of the
in 0.1mm steps. If you only align in the x axis, your part
will be stiff in that direction, and as flexible as the base
plastic in the y&z axes. Now you have complete control,
you may even be able to "knit" the fibers, making a
continuous x,y,z mesh.
Possible problems: I don't know how hard it is to make
glass/carbon fibers with +ve/-ve ends with net 0 charge.
would be easy to purify them however, apply an electric
field and the net -ve will migrate to one electrode and
+ve to the other. I'm not sure how electric fields work in
relatively non-conductive hydrophobic resins, or if that
could be modified.
*I say UV. 405nm, which is like diet UV.I mean, you can
it quite easily, so it isn't UV is it? No, we have a word for
that. It's V. Ultimately, 405nm LEDs are cheap as chips
do the job just fine, so who cares.
**platform implies support, but with a feeling of "from
below". This platform is at the top, the English language
doesn't really have a word for something you build upon
from below, and extend downward. Maybe it's just silly
human bias, should we build houses from the roof down?
makes a lot of sense, it would keep the builders dry and
you could crack on with the electrics practically from the
You've seen these printers right?
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 30 2020]
Smarter Every Day - grain silo
roof first, jack it up, the build the walls a segment at a time. [kdf, Dec 30 2020]
270 nm solid sate light source
[beanangel, Dec 31 2020]
Putting Y shapes and mesh shapes through a plastics nozzle
[beanangel, Dec 31 2020]
The stonely wave is a kind of wave I had not heard of, decreases rapidly from source; useful for this
A Stoneley wave is a boundary wave (or interface wave) that typically propagates along a solid-solid interface. When found at a liquid-solid interface, this wave is also referred to as a Scholte wave. The wave is of maximum intensity at the interface and decreases exponentially away from it. [beanangel, Jan 01 2021]
Lasers making stoneley waves at solid liquid interfaces
[beanangel, Jan 01 2021]
||I think if you want mixed materials you''ll have to go with FDM
instead of SLA. What make of printer did you get?
||//mixed materials you''ll have to go with FDM instead of
SLA. What make of printer did you get?//
||Why? There are already resins with carbon/glass mixed in.
I think the only challenge is to prevent settling out, even
then, with tiny particles in viscous resin, the settling is
only a concern with very long time periods, storage etc.
Even if it was an issue during printing, you could rig a
peristaltic pump to keep the mix recirculating.
||I got one of the anycubic monos. Now I just need to learn
fusion360 or similar.
||Recirculating pump? How much flow can the process tolerate
before it disrupts the surface being cured? If you need to
agitate it to keep particles in suspension, maybe ultrasound?
||I read recently about a faster 3D SLD process that used
multiple, intersecting lasers -- forms the whole model in place
instead of layer-by-layer. I'll go look for it now, it might be
applicable to your idea.
||//How much flow can the process tolerate before it
disrupts the surface being cured?//
||You only need to get ahead of settling, and I really doubt
that's a problem on the time scale of hours. Even if it
was, you could pump between polymerization steps,
while the platform is moving. Like I say, it's probably only
a transport/storage issue.
||//3D SLD process that used multiple, intersecting lasers//
||Ugh. That's a heavy-handed expensive, engineering-heavy
approach. The lasers will be operating at relatively long
and varying distances. That means the error in control
will be massively, and variably amplified in the 3D space.
That means very high-precision control, stable mounting
and so on, that's why laser-scanning microscopes cost
millions. Also, if you think about it, say your resin
polymerizes at the intersection of 3 beams, you still have
1/3 of the polymerizing intensity along the whole beam,
so the bulk resin is going to slowly polymerize. The only
solutions are to progressively replace the resin, use many
more beams, which needs more control & precision, or to
be focusing the laser at a point, which is VERY expensive
to do with precision at long range.
||Eh, I can't find the article now. As I recall it was pretty much a
small scale thing, primarily meant for biocompatible implant
stuff. Main advantage was speed and accuracy - something the
size of a heart valve in under 30 seconds, a kidney in a couple
||//should we build houses from the roof down?//
I have read about this being done, in Japan IIRC. Makes a lot of
sense actually; no need for scaffolding etc, build one level then jack
it up & build underneath. I recently suggested it at work for
assembling a large project.
||"no need for scaffolding etc, build one level then jack it up &
||Building a grain bin (link)
||//should we build houses from the roof down?//
||There's a construction technique for high-rise buildings where a central core is erected, and then individual floors are assembled at ground level and then raised to the top of the core, in succession.
||With your new charge migrating fibers at 3D printing you can do a lot!
||Primitively, imagine a cube made of ball grid array chip bottoms as the interior faces of your 3D printer. What if you 3d printed a dissolves in water or solvent polymer around your actual workpiece(nurse polymer), and the Nurse polymer had conductive traces in it and all the solder balls they made contact with; they could turn on and do something like 2D and even 3D electrophoresis of the actual workpiece as it sets-up.
||Computer models, genetic algorithms, and machine learning could assist with modelling and planning an (up to) 6-axis of electrophoresis effect from the BGA-like conductors on the sides.
||...You could make Y shaped
||reinforcement fibers and arrange them in entirely new electric ways.
||If you have the right viscosity of fiber pre-builds these fibers could look like Y or # (net), They could pass through the nozzle as well. [link] That adds more latitude to what the materials can do. I have never heard of Branched reinforcement fibers before, but I think they must have some use.
||As to the UV Laser/LED, I saw .6W 308 nM and 270 nM Ones online [link] so you are right they are getting better.
||A material I just read about at wikipedia is "amorphous metal glass". It holds strongest thing ever records from what I read, and you could include whiskers of that in your 3D print resin.
||Was that tensile- strongest, compressive- strongest, shear-
strongest, strongest personality or strongest- smelling?
||[pertinax] you caused me to think of something funny. It might be well known and have a name. (let me know if ir does):
||If a person is talking to an audience of people, all of whom are better in productivity, ethics, and conduct than they are, then each of the members comes up with it's own interpretation of "Strong". Often or usually, sort of (Hmmm. but not really) They will always pick a version for strong that exceeds the productivity, ethics, and conduct of the person who used the word strong.
||I think its megapascals of squishing pressure prior to failure at some standard like an ASTM test.
||Thank you, that answers my question.
||[bs0u0155] noticed he could use a kind of wave with 200 nm area of decay (evanescent wave) caused me to notice the Stoneley wave, which could be used at a much faster, but lower resolution micrometer 3D printer (? not that I've calculated it or anything).
||Almost all of the people that publish about stoneley waves are part of the petroleum industry, Someone who knows about stoneley waves there might be able to instantly say what they thought about using them for 3D printing. There are some references on how to make stoneley waves at interfaces with lasers [link].
|| Wikipedia says, "The wave is of maximum intensity at the interface and decreases exponentially away from it." so if there is somehow a way to get an activator of 3D printing fluid to respond to stoneley waves, (like say a laser) then you've got much tinier resolution than LCD pixels. Bigger than 200 nm evanescent waves possibly, which is great as [bs0u0155] points out that printing speed matters as well.
||Something as exciting as a new kind of wave seems like it would be better known. It is also called a "tube wave" and sometimes causes chevrons. The way it will travel through rock suggests that some milder version would travel through the human body. I wonder if Stoneley waves could be used for ultrasound imaging, like medical imaging and industrial imaging. I found zero papers on that.
||Also, Stoneley waves might only work on certain materials. It is possible making ultrasound contrast agents out of stoneley wave materials could improve ultrasound imaging. Stoneley waves only like to travel along "interfaces", which sounds great for differentiating tissues, noticing deep delaminations, and reading at depth how on-tolerance the interior of a manufactured thing is.