3D Printing - Stereolithography

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Early in 1995, we were approached by a grad student Jain Charnnarong at MIT to assist in their development of what would eventually become stereolithography or 3-dimensional printing as they then called it.  They needed a small scale to measure the forces with which their goop was squirted out.  We couldn't resist, and gave them a free scale, specially modified for their research needs.  We have no idea where it is now!  A research effort we felt honored to support.  It has gone far, really far!  Congratulations guys.

In an explanation from From CAD art to rapid metal tools, Three-dimensional printing, an RP technology invented by MIT mechanical engineering professor Emanuel Sachs and materials scientist Michael Cima, uses electrostatic ink jets to spray polymer binder onto powders, selectively hardening slices of a CAD-defined object layer by layer. Successive layers of powder are spread on top, and the process is repeated until an object is completed. Unbound powder temporarily supports unconnected portions of the component, permitting overhangs and undercuts to be fashioned. "It's basically a process for printing with materials. Instead of red and blue ink, you have, say, aluminum and nickel," Sachs explained.

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