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Methods and systems for integrating fluid dispensing technology with stereolithography

United States Patent

February 9, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An integrated system and method of integrating fluid dispensing technologies (e.g., direct-write (DW)) with rapid prototyping (RP) technologies (e.g., stereolithography (SL)) without part registration comprising: an SL apparatus and a fluid dispensing apparatus further comprising a translation mechanism adapted to translate the fluid dispensing apparatus along the Z-, Y- and Z-axes. The fluid dispensing apparatus comprises: a pressurized fluid container; a valve mechanism adapted to control the flow of fluid from the pressurized fluid container; and a dispensing nozzle adapted to deposit the fluid in a desired location. To aid in calibration, the integrated system includes a laser sensor and a mechanical switch. The method further comprises building a second part layer on top of the fluid deposits and optionally accommodating multi-layered circuitry by incorporating a connector trace. Thus, the present invention is capable of efficiently building single and multi-material SL fabricated parts embedded with complex three-dimensional circuitry using DW.
Medina; Francisco (El Paso, TX), Wicker; Ryan (El Paso, TX), Palmer; Jeremy A. (Albuquerque, NM), Davis; Don W. (Albuquerque, NM), Chavez; Bart D. (Albuquerque, NM), Gallegos; Phillip L. (Albuquerque, NM)
Board of Regents, The University of Texas System (Austin, TX), Sandia Corporation, Operator of Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 095,120
March 31, 2005
GOVERNMENT INTEREST STATEMENT This invention was developed under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 between Sandia Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Department of Energy has certain rights to this invention.