3D printing from light-cured resins is characterized by high accuracy of details. Depending on the technology, you can get elements of different accuracy. Among the 3D printing technologies from resins we distinguish SLA (stereolithography), where the photopolymer resin is cured by a laser beam, DLP, in which the resin is cured with light emitted from the projector or light emitted from the LCD screen.

UV LCD is a derivative of the DLP method, used among others in Zortrax Inkspire 3D printers. The resin is photopolymerized with light from a high resolution LCD screen. The work table is immersed in a container with photopolymer resin, and the light beam selectively cures subsequent layers of the element.

On a Zortrax Inspire 3D printer, the print is made at a constant high speed of 20-36 mm / h, regardless of the amount of filling in the working field, and the process parameters can be modify even during printing. This is a very important feature of this 3D printer, because in SLA technology, printing time increases with its size.

The smallest object printed on Zortrax Inkspire measures only 50x50x25 microns. This makes the printer ideal for applications in industries that require the highest precision.
Prints from Zortrax Inspire have no visible layers or vertical lines. Individual pixels cannot be visible to the naked eye, because the print accuracy exceeds 336 pixels per inch, which distinguishes the human eye.

Preparation of the model for 3D printing

As a rule, in the 3D printing process from light-cured resins, printouts should be set at an angle of 45 ° to the surface of the work table – then the uncured resin can flow freely after printing. In addition, this arrangement reduces the resistance of the resin itself inside the container while the model emerges from the container. However, there are geometries where the most optimal is to lay the detail flat, directly on the table. This works great, for example, in prosthetics, during 3D printing. dental arches.

Z-SUITE – Zortrax software, has the option of automatic orientation of 3D prints, which allows the most optimal arrangement of 3D printing, depending on its geometry and purpose.

How to deal with the resin?

The 3D printer supports all light cured resins with a wavelength of 405 nm, although the type of resin should be adapted to the specific application. Inkspire can be printed with any resins, cured with wavelength, however, the manufacturer also offers proprietary consumables with different properties.

Zortrax resins:

  • Zortrax Resin pro with increased resistance to impact and bending,
  • Zortrax Resin Flexible capable of returning to its original shape,
  • Zortrax Resin Dental Model reminiscent of gypsum to the touch,
  • Zortrax Resin Basic.

Material shrinkage

For elements with a small area, the problem is small, although in larger volumes it can be a serious problem. As the print volume increases, the problem may be more noticeable.

Despite the many advantages that UV LED technology brings, there are also a number of factors to look out for. 3D printing involves additional equipment and activities that must be performed after the 3D printout is completed.

3D printing and what’s next?

Working with a 3D printer is also associated with the need to save work space not only for a 3D printer but also a washer and UV exposure unit. Post-pressing and conversation activities include:

  • cleaning of ready models using chemicals (isopropyl alcohol),
  • irradiation of models with UV light to increase their strength,
  • cleaning the device after finishing work with particular attention so as not to damage the exposure matrix,
  • replacement of resin containers and their device components – they wear out during operation,
  • utilization of the resin remaining after printing and resin containers, as well as funds
    chemicals used to clean up printouts.

Print cleaning and exposure

After the 3D printing process is completed, the element needs to be cleaned of residual resin with isopropyl alcohol. This should be done in protective gloves and using special tools. In addition, the room should be well ventilated due to the vapors emitted when cleaning the printout with isopropyl alcohol. Then residual resin, the agent used to clean the printout, and the resin container should be properly disposed of. In addition, it is worth illuminating our printout by exposure to UV light, using a specially dedicated workstation or using daylight.

All activities must be carried out using personal protective equipment, such as gloves or goggles.

Technical specification and costs

Technical specification of Zortrax Inkspire:

  • technology: UV LCD
  • build area: 74 x 132 x 175 mm
  • light source: integrated UV light (wavelength 405 nm)
  • single pixel size: 50 microns (0.05 mm)
  • layer thickness: 0.025 / 0.05 / 0.1 mm
  • print speed: 20-36 mm / h
  • connectivity: Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB
  • operating system: Android
  • 4 ″ IPS 800 x 480 touch screen
  • resins: Zortrax’s and the possibility of using materials from external suppliers.

Zortrax Inkspire costs $2.324. The set with the device includes:

  • Zortrax Inkspire starter kit
  • Zortrax Photopolymer Resin Basic resin (500 ml).
Patrycja Dubert
Biomedical engineer interested in unconventional and innovative approach to medicine and its connection with modern technology.

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