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'solid model proto-type fabrication'
1997\07\14@185628 by Randy Walsh

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I read in this months Popular Mechanics about a company that sells a device
which creates sold model prototypes.  As far as I can tell, a container is
slowly filled with an epoxy compound, which is hardened, layer by layer, by
some sort of laser.  The result is a 3-D epoxy model.

This is a really neat way to create stuff  (By the way, they want a modest
$99,000.00)  Does anyone have any idea about epoxy's, or other compounds
which can be harden by laser?  How about UV light? or other methods which
can be computer controlled?


TIA
Randy
spam_OUTwalshTakeThisOuTspamwriteme.com

1997\07\14@191541 by Glen Benson

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Randy,

  I have seen this on beyond 2000 and other shows. I heard they use 2
lasers x and y . The epoxy is like the dentist use, when it is exposed to
ultraviolet light , it hardens instanly. The lasers are computer controlled
by cadcam , where the lasers intersect the 2 frequenceys combinded create a
point of ultra violet light and walla, instant prototype.

Glen Benson


At 03:43 PM 7/14/97 -0700, you wrote:
>I read in this months Popular Mechanics about a company that sells a device
>which creates sold model prototypes.  As far as I can tell, a container is
>slowly filled with an epoxy compound, which is hardened, layer by layer, by
>some sort of laser.  The result is a 3-D epoxy model.
>
>TIA
>Randy
>.....walshKILLspamspam@spam@writeme.com
>

1997\07\14@200157 by Troy Powledge

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part 0 799 bytes
Troy Powledge
TCo. Systems
tpowspamKILLspameramp.net

-----Original Message-----
From:   Randy Walsh [SMTP:.....randywKILLspamspam.....COLUBS.COM]
Sent:   Monday, July 14, 1997 5:43 PM
To:     EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject:        solid model proto-type fabrication

I read in this months Popular Mechanics about a company that sells a device
which creates sold model prototypes.  As far as I can tell, a container is
slowly filled with an epoxy compound, which is hardened, layer by layer, by
some sort of laser.  The result is a 3-D epoxy model.

This is a really neat way to create stuff  (By the way, they want a modest
$99,000.00)  Does anyone have any idea about epoxy's, or other compounds
which can be harden by laser?  How about UV light? or other methods which
can be computer controlled?


TIA
Randy
walshspamspam_OUTwriteme.com

1997\07\14@203252 by John Payson

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> I have seen one of these machines in action at a show in Dallas. I talked with
the guy at the booth for a little while and this is my understanding of what he
explained to me.
> He called it a 3D printer. BTW he was selling the software, the machine, and a
service that if you didn't want to buy either then he would make the prototypes
for you. The software was $6000 and the > He would open a small door on the
lower left of the
machine and put in a container of what he called a wax based material. The
machine would heat up the material to a liquid. Once the file had been s>
> Troy Powledge

Your lines were way too long for me to read, but I think I got the gist of
what you were saying.  Out of curiosity, do you have any idea how much it
costs to get a model made with one of those things, or what file format is
required?  [thinking cap on]  I wonder if a Quake .MAP file would be a
good format?  After all, the 3d viewer for that's pretty cheap ($60msrp)
and it can also play a pretty good game as well... >:*3

1997\07\14@213734 by Brian Kraut

picon face
Don Lancaster did a few articles on this.  Check his site at http://www.tinaja.com.
There are reprints there.  He refers to them as Santa Claus Machines.

1997\07\15@032020 by Mike

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At 04:25 PM 7/14/97 EST, you wrote:
>Randy,
>
>   I have seen this on beyond 2000 and other shows. I heard they use 2
>lasers x and y . The epoxy is like the dentist use, when it is exposed to
>ultraviolet light , it hardens instanly. The lasers are computer controlled
>by cadcam , where the lasers intersect the 2 frequenceys combinded create a
>point of ultra violet light and walla, instant prototype.

Aye ? Anybody care to clarify the physics - how can two light beams 'combine'
to produce UV - I didn't think that was possible to produce a higher frequency
from two beams of lower frequency - give "mu= h * v" etc ?

I would think it more likely that both beams are lower intensity but, where
they cross the intensity is high enough to cure the epoxy ie By themeselves,
each beam does not have sufficient intensity etc.

Rgds

Mike
Perth, Western Australia
Still looking for my Physics book.

PS: You could just as well use a metal powder and a cheap CO2 laser - to fuse
the metal powders together and re-lay the powder a few microns each time you
do a pass - this could build up quite a solid metal prototype - you could
then plate it afterwards to improve its strength and appearance if required.




Some say there is no magic but, all things begin with thought then it becomes
academic, then some poor slob works out a practical way to implement all that
theory, this is called Engineering - for most people another form of magic.
                                                                      Massen

1997\07\15@040654 by Keith Dowsett

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At 15:43 14/07/97 -0700, you wrote:
>I read in this months Popular Mechanics about a company that sells a device
>which creates sold model prototypes.  As far as I can tell, a container is
>slowly filled with an epoxy compound, which is hardened, layer by layer, by
>some sort of laser.  The result is a 3-D epoxy model.
>
>This is a really neat way to create stuff  (By the way, they want a modest
>$99,000.00)  Does anyone have any idea about epoxy's, or other compounds
>which can be harden by laser?  How about UV light? or other methods which
>can be computer controlled?

There are several light sensitive catalysts for polymerisation. IIRC someone
patented the use of sulphur hexafluoride, so several other companies
developed organic materials with similar properties. I don't know which one
is used in commercial prototyping systems.

These systems have always appealed to me as a way of making patterns for
castings. You design your casting and add in the expansion factor on the
computer then make a one-off pattern. Pop the polymer prototype in the
moulding box, and treat it in the same way as a lost wax casting. (OK so you
get a lot of crap in the sand) Shame they're so expensive.

Keith.
==========================================================
Keith Dowsett         "Variables won't; constants aren't."

E-mail: @spam@kdowsettKILLspamspamrpms.ac.uk
  WWW: http://kd.rpms.ac.uk/index.htm

1997\07\15@043940 by Kalle Pihlajasaari

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Hi Mike,

Long tirade on 3D Stereo Lithography, nominal PIC content at end.

{Quote hidden}

You are correct in thinking that it is difficult to increase the frequency
of light with regular materials.  There are however various crystals
that will multiply light frequencies but they are not relevant here.

Most of the 3D Stereo lithography systems I have seen, read about do not
use two beams.  This is possible by making use of two beams of differing
energy and using one of them to sensitise an exotic material that
will then react to the other light colour/color and cause the polymerisation
reaction.

The usual method is to trace the surface of the vat with a seered UV
light or LASER that cures a strip just 0.2 or 0.1 mm thick and this would
normally be just above an already existing cured strip just below the surface
that it will join with.  The transmission of the beam through the material
will be quite limited and only works because the thickness it passes
through is always the same and very thin, hence my suspicion that dual
beam units will be rare.

The chemicals are nice and toxic and expensive, Ciba Geigy makes some
I seem to recollect.  However there is a material on the market that
is similar and should be available and is used to make Rubber ink stamps.

It is a UV curing rubber that hardens with UV light and the product
can be washed with soap water until curing.  The result would be a rubber
object that you thencure a bit more after washing.  The parts that
come out of the 3D Stereo Litho machines are very fragile when they
come out and any overhanging structures are supported by thin wall honeycomb
matrix until the part has been drained and then post-cured.  After
post-curing the part is much like any other brittle plastic.  They
are usually used for samples or for making spray metal moulds or
investment casting a single component like a replacement hip joint.

I seem to recall pricing of US$ 100 per hour and that allows you
to build an object about an inch thick the size of the tank, thicker
objects need more hours and $.

Cannot think of any PIC applications at this point.  The UV curing rubber
stamp liquid costs US$ 60 for 2 kg from 'Rubber Stamp and Engraving Co.'
+27 (11) 838-7882  (this is only useful for South Africa)  you need about
3 ml for a 1 x 2" address stamp so the material cost is near US$0.10
per stamp that gets sold for US$20, nice profit (needs the handle too).

Perhaps one could use a small PIC servo driven Pantograph with a optical
fibre to a UV light source and then make a toy 3DSL machine for US$ 100
instead of US$100 000.  Make your own rubber stamps in any event.

> PS: You could just as well use a metal powder and a cheap CO2 laser - to fuse
> the metal powders together and re-lay the powder a few microns each time you
> do a pass - this could build up quite a solid metal prototype - you could
> then plate it afterwards to improve its strength and appearance if required.

Cheap CO2-LASER is an oxymoron :-)

What you propose has been done, not sure if it is a production capable
concept but you can certainly sinter the metal powder with a LASER or
electron beam perhaps (needs vacuum).

Cheers
--
Kalle Pihlajasaari   KILLspamkalleKILLspamspamip.co.za   http://www.ip.co.za/ip
Interface Products   P O Box 15775, DOORNFONTEIN, 2028, South Africa
+ 27 (11) 402-7750   Fax: 402-7751    http://www.ip.co.za/people/kalle

DonTronics, Silicon Studio and Wirz Electronics uP Product Dealer

1997\07\15@062315 by Mike Smith

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> From: Mike <RemoveMEerazmusTakeThisOuTspamWANTREE.COM.AU>
> To: spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: solid model proto-type fabrication
> Date: Tuesday, 15 July 1997 16:50
>
> At 04:25 PM 7/14/97 EST, you wrote:
> >Randy,
> >
> >   I have seen this on beyond 2000 and other shows. I heard they use 2
> >lasers x and y . The epoxy is like the dentist use, when it is exposed
to
> >ultraviolet light , it hardens instanly. The lasers are computer
controlled
> >by cadcam , where the lasers intersect the 2 frequenceys combinded
create a
> >point of ultra violet light and walla, instant prototype.
>
> Aye ? Anybody care to clarify the physics - how can two light beams
'combine'
> to produce UV - I didn't think that was possible to produce a higher
frequency
> from two beams of lower frequency - give "mu= h * v" etc ?

I'll get laughed out of physics here... but don't holograms work like this?


> I would think it more likely that both beams are lower intensity but,
where
> they cross the intensity is high enough to cure the epoxy ie By
themeselves,
> each beam does not have sufficient intensity etc.

Reinforcement / cancelation of waves?

> Still looking for my Physics book.

Me too!
>
> PS: You could just as well use a metal powder and a cheap CO2 laser - to
fuse

*CHEAP* CO2!! <hollow laughter>

Been there - and it wasn't cheap!

> Some say there is no magic but, all things begin with thought then it
becomes
> academic, then some poor slob works out a practical way to implement all
that
> theory, this is called Engineering - for most people another form of
magic.
>
Massen

I thought it was Milamber that said it. (There is no magic)

MikeS
<TakeThisOuTmikesmith_ozEraseMEspamspam_OUTrelaymail.net>

1997\07\15@091819 by Harrison Cooper
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Actually....I think there is a company local to me that does this.  If
you want me to find out, I'll see what I can do.
{Quote hidden}

1997\07\15@095320 by nvdw

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> Cannot think of any PIC applications at this point.  The UV curing rubber
> stamp liquid costs US$ 60 for 2 kg from 'Rubber Stamp and Engraving Co.'
> +27 (11) 838-7882  (this is only useful for South Africa)  you need about
> 3 ml for a 1 x 2" address stamp so the material cost is near US$0.10
> per stamp that gets sold for US$20, nice profit (needs the handle too).
>
> Perhaps one could use a small PIC servo driven Pantograph with a optical
> fibre to a UV light source and then make a toy 3DSL machine for US$ 100
> instead of US$100 000.  Make your own rubber stamps in any event.
>
I'm just going after an crazy idea here... but it might be possible
to cover an pcboard with an thin layer of this rubber, trace the
circuit tracks with an UV light, and then wash and etch the board.

Any ideas on a bright enough UV source?

Nic van der Walt
Wasp International

1997\07\15@112420 by Preston S Gabel

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Hi all,

This is not exactly a PIC thread, heck it's not even close to a PIC
thread, but there does seem to be some questions on the various rapid
prototyping techniques commercially available.  Furthermore, knowledge of
the rapid prototyping techniques might be very useful to those working as
Electrical engineers since most circuits find their way into a mechanical
package of some kind.

The most popular method is stereolithography (SLA).  Others have
correctly described this technique as using a vat of special (read
expensive) epoxy that begins crosslinking when exposed to UV light.  The
UV source does not necessarily have to be a laser but a laser tends to
hold a nice tight beam which can be traced in a narrow pattern to obtain a
3D representation of a a part.  The SLA part can then be used in lost wax
processes or other molding techniques ie.  silicone molds, to obtain
duplicates of the original.  SLA provides very good tolerances
approximately +/-.004inches but suffers from being extremely brittle.
I've found that having a tube of super-glue is a must when trying flexible
features such as snap-fits.  ;) Another problem with SLS is its tendency
to warp over time.  Parts and features can change shape by several percent
over a few weeks.  I've found a heat gun can be particularly useful to
reform the parts to a usable shape.  The corollary to this is a word to
the wise: Don't store your SLS parts in your car in the summer.  They'll
come out looking like a 3D version of a cartoon image peeled up with silly
putty (you do remember doing this as a kid I hope :-)  ).

Another technique I know of, is selective laser sintering (SLS).  As the
name suggest a laser is used to trace stacked 2D layers of a fine powder
to create a 3D part.  Common materials for this part include nylon,
glass-filled nylon, polycarbonate, and some more flexible thermoplastic
rubbers.  I understand that SLS of metals is also possible although I have
no information on this process.  The final SLS part has a "grainy"
appearance kinda like a sugar cube made with really fine sugar.  I'm told
the void content of SLS parts is never-the-less near zero. The primary
advantage to this technique is that the final part is composed of a
material that is very close to the "as molded" properties of the
production part. This technique can result in parts that are amazingly
strong and tough especially compared to the SLA technique.  The primary
disadvantage compared to SLA is the part/feature tolerances are around +/-
.007 inches.

Another process that I know of, utilizes paper as the medium rather
than epoxy or fine particles.  In this process, individual layers of
paper are successively cut and laminated on top of the previous layer to
build up a 3D part from "2D" paper.  I don't know a lot about this process
but I believe that dimensional tolerances are somewhat poor in comparison
to the previous techniques.  In addition since the paper is made of wood
fiber all the advantages and disadvantages of wood come with the process
ie. absorption of water, strength etc.

Other processes that are being used include 3D printing which is best
described as a sputtering technique.  I know a wax like material is
commercially available using this technique and work on implementing other
materials such as metals and plastics is ongoing. I think this process
when finally mature is the one most likely to give us Star Trek replicator
like performance.  Stanford University has a lab dedicated to rapid
prototyping techniques including those described here.  If your interested
browse over to:

http://www-rpl.stanford.edu/

One of the companies I've used for my prototypes is Plynetics Express.
They have facilities in San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit and Portland
Oregon.  In addition they have representatives all over the U.S.  Their
web page is at:

http://www.plynetics.com/

Arrk Creative Network Corp. is another large full service prototype
manufacturer.  Their web page is at:

http://www.arrk.com

I know there are many more places that provide these services but these
are two I've used recently.  An internet search should reveal many more!

Keep in mind that the old ways of doing things are still very much in use.
For example, machining your prototypes on a mill gives you good tolerances
(depending on the operator) and the final material properties, so it
defiantly has its advantages. The newer prototyping techniques such as
SLA, SLS etc. are just more tools that can be used to obtain the needed
information.

Hope this is of some value to folks out there in PIC land.

Best Regards to all,

Preston Gabel


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1997\07\15@120051 by David W. Duley

picon face
In a message dated 97-07-14 19:46:39 EDT, you write:

<<
Randy,

   I have seen this on beyond 2000 and other shows. I heard they use 2
lasers x and y . The epoxy is like the dentist use, when it is exposed to
ultraviolet light , it hardens instanly. The lasers are computer controlled
by cadcam , where the lasers intersect the 2 frequenceys combinded create a
point of ultra violet light and walla, instant prototype.

Glen Benson


At 03:43 PM 7/14/97 -0700, you wrote:
>I read in this months Popular Mechanics about a company that sells a device
>which creates sold model prototypes.  As far as I can tell, a container is
>slowly filled with an epoxy compound, which is hardened, layer by layer, by
>some sort of laser.  The result is a 3-D epoxy model.
>
>TIA
>Randy
>RemoveMEwalshspam_OUTspamKILLspamwriteme.com
>
 >>
Hello,
The thing you are talking about is called STEREO LITHOGRAPHY.  Check your
local phone book for a machine shop in your area that performs this.
They often go by the name Rapid Prototyping.  I did a wrist worn device for
NASA that we had the case rapid prototyped.  They turned out great.  Once we
were sure everything would fit we had it made in metal using traditional
milling.  Stereo lithography produces parts that are suitable for checking
fit and function.

Dave Duley
V.P. DreiTek Inc.

1997\07\15@131531 by Mike

flavicon
face
>> Aye ? Anybody care to clarify the physics - how can two light beams
>'combine'
>> to produce UV - I didn't think that was possible to produce a higher
>frequency
>> from two beams of lower frequency - give "mu= h * v" etc ?
>
>I'll get laughed out of physics here... but don't holograms work like this?

If you mean the fantasy of STarTrek - probably. In reality no (unfortunately).

>> PS: You could just as well use a metal powder and a cheap CO2 laser - to
>fuse
>
>*CHEAP* CO2!! <hollow laughter>

mmm - I've seen one built at a local metal cutting workshop, they put it
together (couple of uni students) for about A$10K - thats cheap for a CO2
laser that can cut through 1/2" steel plate... Naturally you wouldn't need
that much power for sintering a thin layer of metal powder.
Could use the pic for dynamic focussing perhaps ?

Re: Magic...
>I thought it was Milamber that said it. (There is no magic)

Possibly - I added a bit and the previous copyright ran out ;)

But there is magic Mr. Mike Smith - the most magical thing of all is your
sense of self (or self conciousness) - try and grasp that by conventioanal
reductionism and remove any sense of magic (read sense of wonder) and you
will be the lesser for it...

Rgds

Mike
Perth, Western Australia

There is no a'priori reason that the ultimate truth will be interesting
or even useful, those moments of frustration during philosophical debate
would be replaced by the sheer terror which accompanies true knowledge.
                                                       Massen

How about that one Mike ;)

1997\07\15@131538 by Douglas J.A.R.Sasse

flavicon
face
>I read in this months Popular Mechanics about a company that sells a device
>which creates sold model prototypes.  As far as I can tell, a container is
>slowly filled with an epoxy compound, which is hardened, layer by layer, by
>some sort of laser.  The result is a 3-D epoxy model.
>This is a really neat way to create stuff  (By the way, they want a modest
>$99,000.00)  Does anyone have any idea about epoxy's, or other compounds
>which can be harden by laser?  How about UV light? or other methods which
>can be computer controlled?
>TIA
>Randy
>RemoveMEwalshTakeThisOuTspamspamwriteme.com

Randy, the material is made by 3M in the St.Paul, Minnesota area. is used in
the dential field to make teeth in a person's mouth (a plastic stuff) and is
harden by a BLUE light.
check with your local dentest as to the local salesman. (they stop by the
offices here all the time and NO I'm not a dentest, just a coustomer)
EraseMEdouglasspamspamspamBeGoneic.mankato.mn.us

1997\07\15@152130 by Charles Frame

picon face
For more than you ever wanted to know about Rapid Prototyping and Free-Form
Fabrication, check out the following two web sites:

                       http://stress.mech.utah.edu/home/novac/rapid.html#COM

                       http://www.asel.udel.edu/~jayanthi/fff.html

Happy browsing!!

1997\07\16@011625 by Mike Smith

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face
MikeS
<RemoveMEmikesmith_ozKILLspamspamrelaymail.net>

----------
{Quote hidden}

this?
>
> If you mean the fantasy of STarTrek - probably. In reality no
(unfortunately).

No, was thinking of holo beam splitters, then recombine beam.  (Re StTrek
<g> - BTW I never saw the re-released StarWars - did they do more fun
things with that holo chess game between R2 and Chewbacca?)

>
> >> PS: You could just as well use a metal powder and a cheap CO2 laser -
to
> >fuse
> >
> >*CHEAP* CO2!! <hollow laughter>
>
> mmm - I've seen one built at a local metal cutting workshop, they put it
> together (couple of uni students) for about A$10K - thats cheap for a CO2
> laser that can cut through 1/2" steel plate... Naturally you wouldn't
need
> that much power for sintering a thin layer of metal powder.
> Could use the pic for dynamic focussing perhaps ?

That is cheap - does it still need the exotic gasses running continuously?

>
> Re: Magic...
> >I thought it was Milamber that said it. (There is no magic)
>
> Possibly - I added a bit and the previous copyright ran out ;)
>
> But there is magic Mr. Mike Smith - the most magical thing of all is your
> sense of self (or self conciousness) - try and grasp that by
conventioanal
> reductionism and remove any sense of magic (read sense of wonder) and you
> will be the lesser for it...

I wouldn't even try.  I wasn't stating it as a truism. I was quoting.
Technology is, to some extent, magic.  (Arthur C Clarke (Any sufficiently
advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic))

MikeS
<KILLspammikesmith_ozspamBeGonespamrelaymail.net>

> There is no a'priori reason that the ultimate truth will be interesting
> or even useful, those moments of frustration during philosophical debate
> would be replaced by the sheer terror which accompanies true knowledge.
>                                                         Massen

If you'll define ultimate truth for me, I'll comment.  <g>

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