Solid state lasers for stereolithography

JP Partanen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Stereolithography (SL) is a Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing (RP&M) technique which can be used to produce 3 dimensional plastic parts directly out computer files generated by CAD. Stereolithography systems use ultraviolet lasers to solidify liquid resin into the desired form as defined by the CAD file.

Commercially available photopolymer initiators achieve optimum absorption at certain specific wavelengths. Laser beams at wavelengths shorter than 300 nm are not usually suitable for SL because photons at that energy are absorbed by all molecules of the resin, not only by the photoinitiator molecules. In the wavelength range 310 - 355 nm the pool of efficient initiator molecules is largest.

In recent years, solid state laser technology has reached the point where it can be applied to stereolithography. Frequency tripling of the powerful lines of diode pumped Nd/YAG, Nd/YVO4, and Nd/YLF lasers results in wavelengths of 355 nm (YAG, YVO4), 351 nm (YLF), and 349 nm(YLF). All these lines are applicable for SL. Commercial diode pumped lasers with tens or even hundreds milliwatts in the ultraviolet are already available. Efficient frequency tripling of the Nd/YAG, Nd/YVO4, or Nd/YLF lasers requires pulsed operation. The pulse repetition rates at maximum average power are typically between 1 and 20 kHz. This paper describes the issues relating to the applications of pulsed all solid state lasers in SL.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICALEO'96 - PROCEEDINGS OF THE LASER MATERIALS PROCESSING CONFERENCE
PagesE115-E123
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics
- Detroit, United States
Duration: 14 Oct 199617 Oct 1996

Publication series

NameLASER INSTITUTE OF AMERICA - PROCEEDINGS
PublisherLASER INST AMERICA
Volume81

Conference

ConferenceInternational Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics
Abbreviated titleICALEO
CountryUnited States
CityDetroit
Period14/10/199617/10/1996

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