Photolithography and photomasking techniques seem to be attractive processes to manufacture complex shape parts as micro actuators. In order to improve the accuracy and the speed of build parts, we have developed a new stereolithography apparatus based on the use of a dynamic mask generator and a visible light source. Different photomaterials have been tested with polymer systems and alumina suspensions. In all cases, we have shown that the vertical resolution is limited by the depth penetration of the light into the material. The effects of the light sources (lamp or laser) have been investigated for the same suspension and various irradiating powers in the UV range. In demonstration, we present the manufacture of complex shape parts and in particular, a gripper. This demonstrator is obtained by an assembly technique based on the insertion of a shape memory alloy wire in a polymer structure build with photomasking apparatus and visible lamp.
Buy this Article