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DLP (Digital Light Processing) is a 3D printing technology used to rapidly produce photopolymer parts. It's very similar to SLA with one significant difference -- where SLA machines use a laser that traces a layer, a DLP machine uses a projected light source to cure the entire layer at once.
iglide® i3000 is the world's first 3D printing resin developed specifically for DLP 3D printing of wear parts and gears. Its service life is at least 30 to 60 times that of conventional 3D printing resins, so iglide® i3000 is suitable for any kind of wear application. Enrichment with solid lubricants makes the 3D-printed components dry-running and low-maintenance. iglide® i3000 can also withstand long-term application temperatures of up to 176°F (80°C).
In the 3D printing service, igus processes its own iglide i3000 resin in the classic DLP process with a high resolution that allows detailed shapes and recesses. In addition, the UV wavelength of 385nm can reduce excessive curing and ensure a more precise shape.
Digital light processing (DLP) is a 3D printing process in which light-sensitive synthetic resins are cured layer by layer with UV light to create a three-dimensional object. In this process, the synthetic resin is located in a basin on the bottom of which is a glass surface through which UV light can pass. This surface is exposed to DLP projection. The core of the projection technology, developed by Texas Instruments, is an array of mirrors: the DMD (digital micromirror device). It consists of many micromirrors that divide the projected light into pixels.
After printing, the uncured resin must be removed from the printed shape. This is done with isopropyl alcohol - the shape is "washed". The support material is then removed, and the shape is cured in a UV chamber. Any support structure residue can still be ground away afterwards.
The high print resolution suits this process well to very small components. Gears with a 0.2 tooth module can be manufactured without any problems. But other special components requiring filigree recesses or ultra-fine drill holes can also be produced in resin 3D printing, conserving resources and reducing costs.
A major advantage of 3D printing using the DLP process is the time saved. Unlike the SLA process, in which each dot is lasered individually, the DLP process cures the resin surface-by-surface, so build time is a fraction of that required for SLA. The resolution is also greatly increased (up to 27µm pixels), and even the most filigree components can be created in resin 3D printing.
Whether you're interested in turnkey, fully assembled solutions or looking to build your own customizable project, learn more about how igus® can assist you with a solution based on your specific application and requirements. Contact us via the form below or call us at (800) 521-2747 to discuss your project today!