Huntsman Advanced Materials launched Araldite®Digitalis, a new rapid manufacturing machine capable of producing large numbers of parts simultaneously at speed and with high accuracy, at EuroMold 2008.
Araldite®Digitalis, a new rapid manufacturing machine capable of producing large numbers of parts simultaneously at speed and with high accuracy. Bottom Left: the MLS MicroLightSwitch®, a radical new exposure system at the heart of Araldite®Digitalis.
Based on entirely new MEMS® (microelectromechanical systems) technology, Araldite®Digitalis is superior to any other laser based technique on the market. Fundamentally different to other technologies, Araldite®Digitalis is neither based on lasers nor on light reflecting MEMS® as used in 3D printers.
At the heart of Araldite®Digitalis is an MLS MicroLightSwitch®, a radical new exposure system operating via a computer controlled micro-mechanical shutter system which selectively exposes a larger surface area of radiation curable resin in a single step. The exposure of 40,000 pixels at a time, rather than a laser which exposes one point at a time, enables much faster and accurate manufacturing even of very complex parts and all at relatively low costs.
Araldite®Digitalis consists of three key elements: the operating console, the vat enclosure with a re-coater and the exposure system. UV light from UV lamps is distributed through fibre optics onto the exposure bar where there are 16 MLS® Switch units which distribute UV light pixels on to the resin surface. The 40,000 computer-controlled shutter mechanisms steer the exposure of the UV light to avoid scattering. Importantly the illuminating angle is 90 degrees which guarantees that uniform and pinpoint accuracy is always achieved. Micro lenses refocus the UV light after leaving the MLS®.
Huntsman Advanced Materials expects Araldite®Digitalis to be in full commercial use later in 2009.