3D printing laboratory

Our 3D printing facilities are specialized on optics (macroscopic size, over 1 mm-diameter) and fine mechanics etc. in plastic. In 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, 3D objects are built directly from a computer model (no tools) by adding patterned layers of a material on top of each other – even hundreds or thousands of layers.

For example, in inkjet printing, which belongs to the category of Material Jetting, liquid material is deposited in drops from an array of nozzles that moves horizontally across a build platform. The material layers are then cured using ultraviolet (UV) light. In fused deposition modelling (FDM), which belongs to the category of Material Extrusion, solid material is drawn through a nozzle, where it is heated&melted and then deposited in droplets layer-by-layer. The nozzle can move horizontally and the platform vertically. In stereolithography (SLA), which belongs to the category of VAT Photopolymerisation, liquid resin layer is cured using structured UV illumination.

Besides the physics and mechanics of the 3D printing technologies, material research is utmost important. Close collaboration is made with the Department of Chemistry.

Research activity in 3D printing is also supported by equipment in the Characterization laboratory and in the Precision Engineering laboratory (in collaboration with Karelia University of Applied Science).

Most important equipment:

  • Custom-made 3D printer based on Luxexcel’s Printoptical© technology (proprietary inkjet printing technology)
  • Ultimaker 3D printer based on Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) / Material extrusion
  • Anycubic Photon, LCD based SLA 3D printer
  • Redsail X700 laser cutter

Further information: Jyrki Saarinen, Petri Karvinen, Henri Partanen