Oh That's Why It's So Hard

Today I had an “Oh That’s Why It’s So Hard” moment courtesy of NIST, US taxpayers, and the Constitution.

The short version of the story is that it is a pain in the ass to print on LCD resin 3D printers, and there are all these inconsistencies that arise even when you specifically “tool match” a DLP printer to have the same specs (wavelength, power density, temp, etc).

Today I found out that I’m not the only one with this problem. In fact, it’s a big enough problem that NIST decided to investigate.

I’m sure we’ll write something more in depth on the polySpectra website about this.

In case you are curious, here’s the paper: Characterizing light engine uniformity and its influence on liquid crystal display based vat photopolymerization printing

…and the figure that summarizes why it’s so hard to print on these machines is below:

On LCD printers, the light doesn't actually fill the full area of the 'pixel'.