Photopolymer based customized additive manufacturing technologies

Phocam aims to develop innovative lithography-based additive manufacturing systems which will facilitate the processing of photopolymer-based materials in the new factory environment. It will bring together industrial expertise and knowledge in the fields of supply chain and quality management, software development, photopolymers and ceramics, high-performance light sources, as well as systems integration so as to provide a fully integrated process chain. The consortium will rely on two main techniques to process radiation-curable materials: • Digital light processing (DLP) – this will be used to process ceramic-filled photopolymers, which will lead to the production of fully dense ceramic parts at the end of the process chain. • Two photon polymerisation (2PP), which will be used to create high-resolution structures which have features in the range of 100-200nm. Both processes will be fine-tuned to reduce system costs, while significantly increasing throughput and reliability. The ultimate goal is to deliver ‘first-time-right’ strategies for end users. This will require the development of supply chains with integrated sensors to detect quality. It is hoped that the project will be used in various industries, e.g. on thread guides on textile machinery, ceramic moulds for the manufacture of high-performance turbine blades and finally microstructures for computer tomography equipment. Lithography-based additive manufacturing technologies are capable of making parts which have excellent surface quality and good feature resolution and which display high precision. With recent developments in the field of ultra-short pulse lasers and light engines based on light-emitting diodes, robust and economical light sources have as such become available.
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Start date: 01-06-2010
End date: 31-05-2013
Total budget - Public funding: 3 609 447,00 Euro - 2 455 362,00 Euro
Call topic: Supply chain approaches for small series industrial production (FoF.NMP.2010.2)