The main technological problems in the implementation of 3D printing using photopolymers are low production speed, high cost of finished products, and a limited ability to manufacture composite products in a single technological cycle.
The following products can be fabricated using CPWC technology: products of different sizes and forms, including such products which are complicated or difficult to fabricate using any other technologies, full-mold and/or investment casting, cases of electronic devices, gear wheels, arms, mounting hardware, tubes, decorative elements, etc. CPWC technology enables the fabrication of products from the materials with different properties: rigid, flexible, resilient or jelly. The products can be composite, may contain reinforcing inclusions and/or can be fabricated from a few different materials. It can be fabricated medical devices and implantable medical devices, such as vessel stents, capsules capable of carrying medications, micro-needle arrays, rods or fibers, different cross-sections, optical fibers, elements of micromechanical devices, microcapillary arrays, etc. Application of a wavefront conversion enables the formation of objects with microcellular or microcapillary structure; in the CPWC technology a single pixel size of the object being formed can be substantially smaller than a single pixel size which is ensured by DLP and LCD projectors. This feature of the technology will be useful for bio-printing of artificial organ matrices, for example, to form a plate for the vascular-capillary system.
The list of photocurable liquids which can be used with CPWC technology includes:
- Compositions to be cured under a method of radical polymerization, for example, based on acrylic polymers, acrylamides, different functionalized oligomers, etc;
- Compositions containing monomers suitable for acid curing, e.g. epoxied monomers, vinyl ether monomers, etc.;
- Photocurable silicone resins suitable for medical products;
- Photocurable polyurethanes enable the fabrication of robust products in different flexibility grades;
- Photocurable resins suitable for investment/full-mold casting;
- Photocurable sol-gel compositions which are able to create glass-ceramic and ceramic products containing carbon after the formation of an object by three-dimensional printing as a result of subsequent firing;
- Photocurable hydrogels, such as polyethylene glycols and gelatins used to fabricate matrices of artificial organs;
- Polymerizable liquids carrying live cells;
- Biodegradable resins for implantable devices to deliver drugs or for biodegradable stents.
Photocurable liquids may contain additional ingredients. For example, in the form of nano- and microparticles, fillers, dyes, microfibers, ferromagnetics, paramagnetics, metals, luminophores, these can be various sorts of organic fillers, i.e. medications and microcapsules. The technology includes equipment, methodology, and software. An application for patenting the method and device has already been filed. In addition SPRYBUILD has other solutions and patent applications.