Tuesday, February 2, 2010

3D DIGITAL PRINTING


A novel digital printing concept is explored for desktop fabrication of multimaterial objects with arbitrary 3D geometry. Digital objects are composed of many discrete, self-aligning voxels instead of continuous (analog) deposition techniques. Overall accuracy is determined by the individual voxels instead of the printer, and digital properties such as perfect replication and error correction are physically meaningful. The key challenge in digital printing is massively parallel, deterministic voxel manipulation. To quickly print millions of voxels while keeping errors low, we propose a parallel manufacturing process that exploits electrostatic forces to place an entire 2D pattern of voxels concurrently. Using a custom charged print head, we demonstrate selective 1.5mm voxel pick-up within a larger, self-aligned layer.

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