Cubicure's patented process for the additive manufacturing of polymer parts
The patented Hot Lithography technology enables the processing of highly viscous resins. A special heating and coating mechanism produces particularly tough and temperature-resistant polymers.
At this technology's core lies a specially developed, patented heating and coating mechanism. This mechanism is capable of safely processing even highly viscous resins and pastes at working temperatures of up to 120 °C with the utmost precision.
Elevated temperatures do not only affect the viscosity of a resin, but also its stability and reactivity. Hence, a precise process handling and control is necessary to avoid unintended polymerization and consequently, the degradation of the material. Thus, the temperature of all process elements can be precisely controlled.
"The process defines the shape and the material. Based on an improved process, a wider variety of geometries and photopolymers can be printed."
The biggest challenge was the heating of the coated thin layer of raw material during the printing process. In either case, it is necessary to avoid temperature peaks and local overheating. This is why the specially developed hot coating technology was patented.
Shape and material are defined by the process.
Highly viscous resins
The aim of Cubicure is the additive manufacturing of polymer parts with outstanding impact strength and heat deflection temperatures while at the same time, having the highest possible surface quality. During theoretical considerations about suitable chemical compounds for those photopolymer systems, it was evident that the resulting substances would be highly viscous at room temperature. From this, Cubicure started developing a special 3D-printing concept which is applicable for processing highly viscous chemicals.
The high-performance photopolymers developed by Cubicure are highly viscous or even solid substances which could not be processed in any commercial stereolithography production site until now. Due to strong temperature dependency of a fluids viscosity, a heated 3D-printing process was implemented. But, this process also needs to prevent the unintended overheating and thermally induced polymerization of the resins. Regarding the Cubicure 3D-printers processing technique, the exposure process, known out of SLA machines was combined with a special, newly developed and also heatable coating system.
"Thanks to Hot Lithography, molecular weight, functionality and chemical nature of resins can be tailor-made."
The multiple patented technical solution of this process challenge was published under the name Hot Lithography. This technology enables the usage of high-molecular chemical substances for a high precision 3D-printing process for the first time and consequently, establishes parts with unexpected material quality.