A novel printing process with the capability to fabricate high-resolution 3D micro-scale features on macro-scale complex free-form surfaces, at the performance of 8 micron fabrication resolution.
Most additive manufacturing (AM) processes such as stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS) use a layer-by-layer fabrication approach. They cannot be used to fabricate geometric features on the surfaces of a pre-existing three-dimensional (3D) object. In addition, existing AM processes are mainly based on a single size scale, e.g. macro-scale or micro-scale, and cannot be used to build a macro-scale object with micro-scale features on its surfaces. The aim of the research is to develop fiber-optic assisted immersed surface accumulation printing (ISAP) process that can flexibly fabricate micro-scale features on macro-scale surfaces.