Home Sintering Experiments

By on July 30th, 2010 in Hardware, learning

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You don’t have enough cash on hand to buy that USD$40,000 Laser Sintering unit, but you are really curious about the process. No trouble – just do the experiment at home!
The University of Wisconsin has posted the procedure for a lithography experiment you might even attempt at home, providing you have sufficient chemicals, a front-projector and of course, rubber gloves:
In this lithography experiment light creates free radicals from phenylbis(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide which induce polymerization of 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate. Light is supplied by a computer projector which shines the pattern for one layer at a time. After each layer, the elevator is slightly lowered and the process is repeated. A dye (Sudan I) is included to prevent light from penentrating much below the surface of the solution.
Here’s the materials list for the experiment:
  • 1,6-Hexanediol diacrylate (Aldrich 246816)
  • Sudan I (Aldrich 103624)
  • Phenylbis(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide (Aldrich 511447)
  • Computer with Powerpoint
  • Projector
  • Magnifying glass
  • Mirror
  • Platform elevator 
This is a very simple approach using more or less common items. We’re wondering if this could be the basis for a low-cost hobbyist sintering kit? 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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