Dual Wavelength Negative Imaging Digital Light Processing Stereo Lithographic Apparatus

Bryan Moran | 20-FS-042

Project Overview

This feasibility study's goal was to demonstrate Dual Wavelength Negative Imaging (DWNI), a new and undemonstrated type of polymeric stereolithographic-based three-dimensional (3D) printing that could significantly increase the resolution of micro-stereolithography. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing (CEMM) is a leader in the field of micro-stereolithography. We are frequently asked to make parts with features smaller than the current state-of-the-art. DWNI has the potential to produce extremely small features, in fact even below the optical diffraction limit of light. In addition, an optically resolved dual wavelength system provides a direct path for multi-material manufacturing. DWNI provides improvements to micro-stereolithography that are both significant and subtle as it is fundamentally a new technique for additive manufacturing

Mission Impact

There are several ongoing projects that would immediately benefit from the ability to make finer features. These include supercapacitor and flow battery efforts, microstructures, target fabrication, biosystem reactors, and microfluidics. Indeed, most of the internal customers and external collaborators would immediately benefit from these improvements. A demonstrated significant improvement of feature resolution is immediately applicable to the entire community developing micro-stereolithographic apparatus (SLA). We have already been approached by colleagues from different fields including, bioprinting, microstructures, and multimaterials as they see immediate advantages with increased resolution and multi-material capability. As this is essentially a new micro 3D printing method, there are many potential applications. DWNI is a light engine and technique to improve the resolution of "any" projection SLA setup. If a system is diffraction-limited, then applying the DWNI technique should allow printing features less than the diffraction limit. This would be extremely novel and useful and would increase the prestige and reputation of the Laboratory in the field of additive manufacturing. This research advances Livermore's advanced materials and manufacturing core competency.

Publications, Presentations, and Patents

U.S. Patent Application No. 16/020,529 Dual Wavelength Negative Imaging DLP-SLA System, filed 06/27/18.

Schwartz, J.J., Boydston, A.J. "Multimaterial actinic spatial control 3D and 4D printing." Nat Commun 10, 791 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08639-7.