A 3D-printing device developed by a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) optical engineer has won a 2015 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Far West Region Award for outstanding technology development. The award, given for the Large Area Projection Micro Stereolithography (LAPµSL) technology, was presented to Bryan Moran at the recent FLC Far West/Mid-Continent Region meeting in San Diego.
The FLC assists the U.S. public and private sectors in utilizing technologies developed by federal government research laboratories. It is comprised of more than 250 federal government labs and research centres. The LAPµSL is an image projection micro-stereolithography system that rapidly produces very small features over large areas, by using optical techniques to write images in parallel, as opposed to conventional techniques, which usually requires mechanical stages moves or the rastering of beams to expose pixels in series.
LAPµSL combines the advantages of laser-based stereolithography (that is, large area and speed, but poor resolution) and digital light processing stereolithography (that is, fine details and speed but only over a small area), enabling the rapid printing of fine details over large areas.
Parts produced with LAPμSL can be used as master patterns for injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding and various metal-casting processes. In post-processing, the LAPμSL’s output can be coated with metal, ceramic, graphene, thin films and many other materials. LAPμSL can also be used to quickly make these large parts with great complexity and detail.