Multi-objective process planning method for mask projection stereolithography
Mask Projection Stereolithography (MPSLA) is a high resolution manufacturing process that builds parts layer by layer in a photopolymer. In this research, a process planning method to fabricate MPSLA parts with constraints on dimensions, surface finish and build time is formulated.
As a part of this dissertation, a MPSLA system is designed and assembled. The irradiance incident on the resin surface when a given bitmap is imaged onto it is modeled as the “Irradiance model”. This model is used to formulate the “Bitmap generation method” which generates the bitmap to be imaged onto the resin in order to cure the required layer.
Print-through errors occur in multi-layered builds because of radiation penetrating beyond the intended thickness of a layer, causing unwanted curing. In this research, the print through errors are modeled in terms of the process parameters used to build a multi layered part. To this effect, the “Transient layer cure model” is formulated, that models the curing of a layer as a transient phenomenon, in which, the rate of radiation attenuation changes continuously during exposure. In addition, the effect of diffusion of radicals and oxygen on the cure depth when discrete exposure doses, as opposed to a single continuous exposure dose, are used to cure layers is quantified. The print through model is used to formulate a process planning method to cure multi-layered parts with accurate vertical dimensions. This method is demonstrated by building a test part on the MPSLA system realized as a part of this research.
A method to improve the surface finish of down facing surfaces by modulating the exposure supplied at the edges of layers cured is formulated and demonstrated on a test part.
The models formulated and validated in this dissertation are used to formulate a process planning method to build MPSLA parts with constraints on dimensions, surface finish and build time. The process planning method is demonstrated by means of a case study.