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Inkjet UV resin printer??

Posted by ahbtsang 
Inkjet UV resin printer??
November 17, 2012 11:56AM
hi all,

I have an idea, not sure if anyone has mentioned this before. Having know that solvent based printers and flatbed printers uses UV ink that cures under UV to print on any materials, has anyone thought of this to be used on 3D printing?

I'm aware that some high end 3d printers uses this sort of technology so resin cures as the printhead travels and sprays resin and can create amazing quality prints as well as varying opacity and elasticity within a single model...

In theory, if we hack a standard inkjet and fill the cartridges with UV resin, then mount the UV lamp to a carriage.. then add Z axis.. etc is this idea valid? What are the practical limitations preventing us exploring into this concept?

I can imagine that the resin has to be very low viscosity, but with this idea, won't the print speed be a lot faster and much higher resolution? Also, we can solve the problem of colours because we can use CMYK resins!

just a thought.
Re: Inkjet UV resin printer??
November 17, 2012 12:27PM
I think it has potential, but I am not to sure to the limits of fluids (Viscosity) that an inkjet printer cartridge can spit out.

I would suspect you would need to use a piezo electric ink cartridge as the heating from a bubble jet would affect the resin by heating it and changing the temperature.

My only thought is the one of cost and supply. The biggest challenge when it comes to UV printing has been getting the UV curable resin. Personally I tried and tried to get some and came up short. If you can find a supplier I think there would be a lot of people who would use it.

I think that is what really gave the Form 1 its success is the access to UV resin at a reasonable price, along with a good platform to use it on.

Just some thoughts.
Re: Inkjet UV resin printer??
November 17, 2012 12:38PM
yes, I suppose the printhead has to be piezo electric but we can get our hands on one of these for 400-500pounds (although this is a lot of money). If solvent based printers use UV cure ink, that means there is such thing available on the market. In addition, 3rd party ink manufacturers do produce UV inks in large quantities, I wonder how much differences are there between UV cure resin and UV cure ink. (BTW, HP produces latex ink as well).

If i am being naive, spraying and curing LOTS of UV ink won't that means the print becomes 3D?
Re: Inkjet UV resin printer??
November 17, 2012 08:13PM
You'd need a support material deposited as well; you can't just put a dot in mid air. Even shallow overhangs might be impossible. I think it is Objet printers that use this technique, and is probably well covered by patents. See [m.youtube.com]
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