A Multi-Material Projection Stereolithography System for Manufacturing Programmable Negative Poissons Ratio Structures

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Virginia Tech


Digital light Projection based Additive Manufacturing (AM) enables fabrication of complex three-dimensional (3D) geometries for applications ranging from rapid prototyping jet parts to scaffolds for cell cultures. Despite the ability in producing complex, three-dimensional architectures, the state of art DLP AM systems is limited to a single homogenous photo-polymer and it requires a large volume of resin bath to begin with. Extensible Multi-material Stereolithography (EMSL) is a novel high-resolution projection stereolithography system capable of manufacturing hybrid 3D objects. This system provides new capabilities, allowing more flexible design criteria through the incorporation of multiple feedstock materials throughout the structure. With EMSL manufacturing ability, multi-material programmable negative Poissons ratio honeycomb reentrant structures are realized.

Researchers have been studying auxetic structures over decades, the mechanical property control of auxetic structure mainly relies on geometry design in previous studies. Now with the help of EMSL system, other design variables associated with auxetic structures, such as material properties of local structural members, are added into design process. The additional variables are then proved to have significant effects on the material properties of the auxetic structures. The ability to accurately manufacture multi-material digital design will not only allow for novel mechanical and material researches in laboratory, but also extend the additive manufacturing technology to numerous future applications with characteristics such as multiple electrical, electromechanical and biological properties. The design and optimization of EMSL system realizes novel structures have not been producible, therefore it will stimulate new possibilities for future additive manufacturing development.



Additive manufacturing, Stereolithography, multi-material, auxetic structure, Poisson's ratio