Microstereolithography: a new process to build complex 3D objects
In this paper, a new microstereolithography apparatus is described. It is an integral process in which a complete layer can be made in one exposure only, in contrast to vector-by-vector processes which are based on the vectorial tracing of each layer. As for most microstereolithography processes, complex objects can be realized by superimposing layers, each layer being obtained by a light-induced polymerization of a liquid resin. The vertical and transverse resolution of the process we are developping have been measured. Complex in shape objects have been realized :small 3D polymer components have been built such as turbines, microsprings, or micropipes. They are composed of a large number of layers with a resolution better than 5 mu m in the 3 directions of space. Some of these objects serve to demonstrate that complex in shape 3D objects can be manufactured with this technology. Sample structures which can be used in microfluidics, microrobotics or in the biomedical field are presented.