Volumetric 3D-printing: a marriage between fast and scalable to create complex multi-material constructs

01 May 2022 → 30 April 2026
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Macromolecular and materials chemistry not elsewhere classified
  • Engineering and technology
    • CAD/CAM systems
    • Tissue engineering
    • Biomaterials engineering not elsewhere classified
    • Polymer processing
laser-based 3D-printing scalable high-resolution additive manufacturing photo-crosslinkable polymers
Project description

The current application, targeting to acquire a volumetric 3D-printing technique, will position Flanders at the forefront of high resolution 3D-printing of scalable construct volumes. In volumetric 3D-printing, also referred to as computed axial lithography (CAL), a complete threedimensional object is built-up simultaneously, according to the spatially controlled photo-crosslinking of a liquid resin, combined with the principles of reverse computed tomography (CT). Therefore, the manufacturing time is independent of the volume of the 3D object and as a result, centimeter-scaled objects can be built-up in tens of seconds. The simultaneous nature of the tomography process implies that completely irregular geometries can be printed without the need for supporting structures, that are inaccessible via other 3D-printing techniques, even with the use of supports. Additionally, CAL enables to overprint preexisting solid objects in a non-destructive manner, thereby enabling the development of multi-material objects. Despite the potential of volumetric 3D-printing to realize a paradigm shift in a plethora of application fields currently served by ‘conventional’ AM technologies, the technique can also have a tremendous impact in the biomedical field. It is due to the combination of the extremely fast printing process, low photo-initiator concentrations and low irradiation intensities that this technique is hypothesized to introduce the next paradigm shift in tissue engineering.