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SL & SLS Assembly
Pumps Picture Courtesy of ZCorp
The Rapid Prototyping Laboratory (RPL) supports internal design, manufacturing, and process development with three rapid prototyping (RP) technologies: Stereolithography (SL), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and 3D Printing (3DP).
Rapid prototyping uses advanced computer and laser technologies to produce complex three-dimensional prototypes in a fraction of the time required by more traditional technologies. The rapid prototyping process begins with a CAD solid model output to the appropriate RP file format. The file data is sliced into cross sections of 0.003 to 0.010 in. thickness. The cross sections are then fabricated in a layer additive process using one of the three available RP technologies.
The SL technology uses an ultraviolet laser to cure thin layers of epoxy photo-polymer. SL is used in the design iteration process to manufacture proof-of-concept models, models for design reviews, fit-check models, functional parts and patterns for castings or RTV molds. Accuracy is generally ±0.001 inch/inch with a minimum of ±0.002 inch.
The SLS technology uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser to fuse powdered polymer cross sections in a layer additive fashion. SLS is used to fabricate functional parts, pattern masters, conceptual models, fit check models, and mandrels made from DuraForm PA, a nylon based material. Typically, accuracy of the SLS process is ±0.002 inch/inch with a minimum of ±0.005 inch.
The 3DP technology uses ink-jet heads to print binder to fuse powdered polymer or ceramic cross sections in a layer additive fashion. This system has the capability of printing in full-color, communicating important information about parts, including engineering data, labeling, highlighting and appearance simulation. Parts are typically used as appearance prototypes for design and data review, and mock-ups for form and fit testing. The accuracy of the 3DP process is in the ±0.5% range.
Blade Picture Courtesy of ZCorp
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