Current Stereolithography (SL) can fabricate three-dimensional (3D) objects in a single scale level, e.g. printing macro-scale or micro-scale objects. However, it is difficult for the SL printers to fabricate a 3D macro-scale object with micro-scale features. In the paper a novel SL-based multi-scale fabrication method is presented to address such a problem. The developed SL process can fabricate multi-scale features by dynamically changing the shape and size of a laser beam. Different shaped beams are realized by switching apertures with different micro-patterns. The laser beam without using any micro-patterns is used to fabricate the macro-scale features, while the shaped laser beams with smaller sizes are used to fabricate micro-patterned features. Accordingly, the tool path planning method for the multi-scale fabrication process are developed so that macro-scale and micro-scale features can be built by using different layer thicknesses, laser exposure time, and scanning paths. Compared with the conventional SL process based on a fixed laser beam size, our process can fabricate multi-scale features in a 3D object. It also has fast fabrication speed and good surface quality.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.