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A D V A N C E D M A T E R I A L S & P R O C E S S E S | J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 6

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3D-printing device developed by

a Lawrence Livermore Nation-

al Laboratory (LLNL) engineer

won a 2015 Federal Laboratory Consor-

tium (FLC) Far West Region Award for

outstanding technology development.

The award, given for the Large Area

Projection Micro Stereolithography

(LAPµSL) technology, was presented

to Bryan Moran at the recent FLC Far

West/Mid-Continent Region meeting in

San Diego. The LAPµSL is an image pro-

jection micro-stereolithography system

that rapidly produces very small fea-

tures over large areas by using optical

techniques to write images in parallel.

This approach is a departure from con-

ventional techniques, which either re-

quire mechanical stage movements or

the rastering of beams to expose pixels

in series. LAPµSL combines the advan-

tages of laser-based stereolithography

(large area and speed, but poor resolu-

tion) and digital light processing stereo-

lithography (fine details and speed, but

only over a small area), enabling rapid

printing of fine details over large areas.

The LAPµSL system is conceptu-

ally similar to building a mosaic of tiles

that thencombine tomakeamuch larger


says Moran. He adds that many

applications could benefit from the abil-

ity to create complex shapes and small

features, unlike other 3D printers, which

sacrifice overall part size for small fea-

ture size. For example, parts produced

with the new machine can be used as

master patterns for injection molding,

thermoforming, blow molding, and var-

ious metal casting processes.

For more

information: Bryan Moran,







UL, a safety science organization

based in Northbrook, Ill., recently an-

nounced partnerships with Georgia

Institute of Technology and Emory Uni-

versity’s Rollins School of Public Health

to study the impact of 3D printing on

indoor air quality. The research is de-

signed to characterize chemical and

particle emissions of 3D printing tech-

nologies and to evaluate their poten-

tial impact on human health. The first

research phase, led by Rodney Weber

of Georgia Tech, is to define the appro-

priate analytical measurement and risk

evaluation methodologies for character-

izing and assessing particle and chemi-

cal emissions from 3D printing technol-

ogies. The second phase, conducted by

The Rollins School of Public Health at

Emory, will assess potential health haz-

ards from exposure to the emissions.






Researchers at Massachusetts In-

stitute of Technology, Cambridge, have

developed the ability to print optically

transparent glass objects. A major ob-

stacle to accomplishing this task is the

extremely high temperature needed

to melt the material. Others have used

tiny particles of glass, melded togeth-

er at a lower temperature via sinter-

ing. But such objects are structurally

weak and optically cloudy. In contrast,

the system developed at MIT produces

glass objects that are both strong and

fully transparent to light. Molten glass is

loaded into a hopper after being gath-

ered from a conventional glassblowing

kiln. When complete, the finished piece

must be cut away from the moving plat-

form on which it is assembled. In oper-

ation, the device’s hopper and a nozzle

through which the glass is extruded to

form an object are maintained at tem-

peratures of roughly 1900°F, far higher

than those used for other 3D printing.

The new process could allow unprec-

edented control over the glass shapes

that can be produced, including vari-

able thicknesses and complex inner

features. Additional work will focus on

the use of colors in the glass, which the

team has already demonstrated in lim-

ited testing.


LLNL optical engineer Bryan Moran

makes an adjustment to the Large Area

Projection Micro Stereolithography ma-

chine. Courtesy of Steve Wampler/LLNL.

UL is coordinating research on 3D printer

emissions with Georgia Tech and Emory


MIT’s glass 3D printing process.

Courtesy of Steve Keating.