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Methods for multi-material stereolithography

United States Patent

June 14, 2011
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Methods and systems of stereolithography for building cost-efficient and time-saving multi-material, multi-functional and multi-colored prototypes, models and devices configured for intermediate washing and curing/drying is disclosed including: laser(s), liquid and/or platform level sensing system(s), controllable optical system(s), moveable platform(s), elevator platform(s), recoating system(s) and at least one polymer retaining receptacle. Multiple polymer retaining receptacles may be arranged in a moveable apparatus, wherein each receptacle is adapted to actively/passively maintain a uniform, desired level of polymer by including a recoating device and a material fill/remove system. The platform is movably accessible to the polymer retaining receptacle(s), elevator mechanism(s) and washing and curing/drying area(s) which may be housed in a shielded enclosure(s). The elevator mechanism is configured to vertically traverse and rotate the platform, thus providing angled building, washing and curing/drying capabilities. A horizontal traversing mechanism may be included to facilitate manufacturing between components of SL cabinet(s) and/or alternative manufacturing technologies.
Wicker; Ryan (El Paso, TX), Medina; Francisco (El Paso, TX), Elkins; Christopher (Redwood City, CA)
The Board of Regents of the University of Texas System (Austin, TX)
12/ 389,147
February 19, 2009
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with government support under Contract DE-FC04-01AL67097 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.