How MOVINGLight® Contributes to Faster Curing When Compared to Conventional DLP Printers

MOVINGLight® , part 2 of 3 | June 15, 2016 | By Alan Benlolo

Thanks to MOVINGLight® — a VAT photopolymerization technology pioneered by Prodways — maintaining homogenous curing and consistent high resolution is no longer confined to small build volumes typical of conventional DLP 3D printers. This blog highlights a third and equally critical dimension of this breakthrough technology: curing speed.

In my first blog of this series on MOVINGLight® , I demonstrated how this new standard in DLP printing developed by Prodways delivers a superior resolution to conventional fixed-projector DLP printers for large builds. As in my first blog, I have provided below a hypothetical experiment to substantiate this technology's advantage in curing speed against conventional DLP printers for two different-sized layers.

Schematic Overview of MOVINGLight® Components

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Figure B. The above diagram shows a moving DLP projector curing an image of the layer equivalent to 70 x 40 mm (tile size). For faster build cycles, Prodways' ProMaker 7000 and 8000 series are fitted with two moving projectors.


MOVINGLight® Cures Layers Faster than Traditional DLP Printers

In this hypothetical experiment, curing speeds are compared between two 3D printers, one fitted with MOVINGLight® technology and the other with a stationery bottom-mounted DLP projector. When holding the variables constant (e.g., resin, layer thickness, etc.) the former cures the layer precisely two times faster than the latter in scenario 1 and six times faster in scenario 2. This difference only widens as the number of "tile" projections decrease, or conversely, when the size of the DLP paltform printer increases, assuming the UV light blankets the entire platform. (See Figures F and G)

 
Fixed Projector DLP
 
MOVINGLight®
 
Build area (L x W) 360 x 280 mm
(14 x 11 in.)
360 x 280 mm
(14 x 11 in.)
Cure time per 1 cm2 (100 mm2) 1 sec 1 sec
Layer thickness, light intensity, resin,
and XYZ resolution
Constant


Scenario 1a - Stationery DLP projector

dlp printer
*Figure B. Curing speed calculation: Multiply 1 second — the time to cure a 10 x 10 mm block — by 1,008, the number of divisible 100 mm2 blocks of the platform (assuming the light covers all corners of the platform)
 

Scenario 1b - MOVINGLight®

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*Figure C. Curing speed calculation: Multiply 28 seconds — the time to cure a full 70 x 40 mm image tile — by 18, the number of "tile" projections needed to cure the layer.

Scenario 2a - Stationery DLP projector

3dprinter
Figure D - curing speed calculation is the same under Scenario 1a

Scenario 2b - MOVINGLight®

3d printer
*Figure E. Curing speed calculation: Multiply 28 seconds — the time to cure a full 70 x 40 mm image tile — by 6, the number of "tile" projections needed to cure the layer.

Impact on Curing Time

Sationery DLP Printer

3d printer

MOVINGLight®

3d printer
Figure F. Assuming the projected light covers the entire platform, curing a layer will take longer as the platform size increases, since the light or energy density will be diluted over a wider area, in this case the entire build area.
Figure G. Holding everything else equal, cure time per layer and the number of projections required to complete the layer are positively related.


Adding Speed to the Equation

The experiments above give us an idea of just how far this new technology has impacted the speed of industrial 3D printers when compared to conventional DLP processes. This marked increase in speed coupled with the technology's ability to deliver homogenous XYZ curing (which I write in my third blog of this series) and ultra-high resolution over both big and small build areas have become the hallmarks of these next-generation professional 3d printers.