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Vat Photopolymerisation/Stereolithography


The DMTL operates a number of commercial and custom built high-resolution stereolithography systems. The process uses light sensitive photopolymer resins to build up structures in a layer-by-layer fashion. Resolution of the systems can tailored for specific applications, but systems are capable of typical resolutions of 25 microns.

Our research with these systems revolves around the creation of novel materials to impart function to manufactured parts, such as the incorporation of sensors.

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Soft-robotic microfluidic device produced using microstereolithography Microfluidic device with embedded flow sensor

Example Publications

Woodward, D. I., Purssell, C. P., Billson, D. R., Hutchins, D. A., & Leigh, S. J. (2015). Additively‐manufactured piezoelectric devices. physica status solidi (a), 212(10), 2107-2113. Link

Leigh, S. J., Purssell, C. P., Bowen, J., Hutchins, D. A., Covington, J. A., & Billson, D. R. (2011). A miniature flow sensor fabricated by micro-stereolithography employing a magnetite/acrylic nanocomposite resin. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 168(1), 66-71. Link

Barker, I. A., Ablett, M. P., Gilbert, H. T., Leigh, S. J., Covington, J. A., Hoyland, J. A., ... & Dove, A. P. (2014). A microstereolithography resin based on thiol-ene chemistry: towards biocompatible 3D extracellular constructs for tissue engineering. Biomaterials Science, 2(4), 472-475. Link

Custom Built

Our custom-built systems are designed to give total freedom during the process, unlocking all of the key process variables to allow experimentation with new materials. As we have built the hardware from the ground up, we are able to incorporate extra process and mechatronic elements in the process.

Custom Materials

We have a full materials formulation laboratory so can formulate new materials for a range of applications, from tailored mechanical properties through to materials with electrical conductivity.