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Laser fablication

Laser fabrication is a technology that
uses an ultraviolet laser to harden layers of a liquid UV-curing resin in order to manufacture objects based on 3D data.

Manufacturing a solid model using laser fabrication involves creating a 3D plastic model based on 3D CAD data, so objects designed based on drawings and CAD can be checked in a short amount of time, allowing a shorter development time and reduced cost.
Deviation from 3D data can be kept to ±0.05-0.1 mm (150 mm for corners).
Moreover, this technology allows greater freedom of design than conventional techniques and it allows the creation of cavities and sharp angles. Additionally, the model can be enlarged or shrunk in size, the design can be modified, and multiple copies with different features can be prepared at the same time.

Vacuum casting offers increased hardness and temperature resistance as well as greater versatility.

The material used in laser fabrication is an epoxy resin. When a model must be made of a harder or stronger material, it can be created using other plastics through vacuum casting.
There are limitations on the materials that can be used in laser fabrication, and manufacture of a prototype using vacuum casting is recommended if greater versatility is needed.
Selecting materials similar to those in the final product allows testing with greater accuracy, and verifying that the external features (design aspects) are correct means that the model will closely resemble a casting of the object in question.

One-piece models can be created and
sharp edges can be machined.

One-piece machining with laser fabrication proves its worth when prototyping products with functional features that are more important than their design features like an engine manifold, for example.
To model the features of an automobile’s engine manifold using typical crafting techniques, the manifold is first broken down into a number of parts and then these parts are machined and put back together. Laser fabrication, however, allows one-piece machining, which in turn allows a quick turn-around.
Additionally, laser fabrication places fewer constraints on machining techniques, so various features can be manufactured at a dizzying speed compared to conventional machining.
While these aspects may seem trivial, laser fabrication has several advantages over conventional manufacturing techniques.

Click here for a description of the laser prototyping process
Laser Prototyping Applications

Fabricating objects with a laser can be used in medicine, e.g. manufacturing 3D plastic models of bone and areas affected by disease based on cross-sectional data from CT and MRI scanners and 3D measuring and imaging equipment. In addition, that technique can be used in fields such as aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, construction, home electronics, and toys to verify a product’s features or provide a sales sample of a mechanical component.

  • Design ・Design/shape verification・Design evaluations・3D data verifications・Presentations
  • Development/LayoutFunctional verification・Performance evaluations・Implementation verifications・Visual verifications
  • Production/Manufacturing・Reduced lead time・Mold testing・Manufacturing process testing・Vacuum casting master models

Laser prototyping manufacturing process

  • 1.CAD data is converted and output
as STL formatted data.
  • 2.Liquid resin only hardens the area which are exposed to the laser light
  • 3.Once a layer has hardened, the
cured portion and curing table is gradually lowered(0.05-0.2mm pitch)
  • 4.Prototype is complete once the
final layer has hardened.
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