|Número de publicación||USRE43955 E1|
|Tipo de publicación||Concesión|
|Número de solicitud||US 13/230,270|
|Fecha de publicación||5 Feb 2013|
|Fecha de presentación||12 Sep 2011|
|Fecha de prioridad||10 May 2004|
|También publicado como||DE502005004008D1, EP1744871A1, EP1744871B1, EP1894705A2, EP1894705A3, EP1894705B1, WO2005110722A1|
|Número de publicación||13230270, 230270, US RE43955 E1, US RE43955E1, US-E1-RE43955, USRE43955 E1, USRE43955E1|
|Inventores||Alexandr Shkolnik, Hendrik John, Ali El-Sibiani|
|Cesionario original||Envisiontec Gmbh|
|Exportar cita||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citas de patentes (163), Otras citas (24), Citada por (10), Clasificaciones (8), Eventos legales (2)|
|Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/569,893, filed on May 10, 2004.
The invention related to a process and a device for the production of a three-dimensional object by layer-wise solidification of a photohardening material by mask illumination by means of a rastered image forming unit having constant resolution, wherein the resolution within the image/construction plane shall be improved in the sub-pixel range.
For the layer-wise construction of three-dimensional objects from “light hardening” materials, various processes are mentioned in literature, see in this respect “Automated Fabrication-Improving Productivity in Manufacturing” of Marshall Burns, 1993 (ISBN 0-13-119462-3).
This invention relates to processes wherein the layer to be generated is based on illumination by means of a rastered mask, wherein the smallest physical resolution within the mask is provided by the size of a pixel.
Known possibilities presently are, inter alia, illumination by
Some of these methods are described in the following patents:
IPC: B29C67/00 “Rapid Prototyping apparatus and method of Rapid Prototyping” of Dicon AS (DK), (application)
US patent US005247180 A “Stereolithographic Apparatus and Method of use” of Texas Instruments Inc., September 1993.
US patent US005980813 A “Rapid Prototyping using multiple materials” of SRI International, November 1999;
Utility Model DE G 93 19 405.6 “Device for the production of a three-dimensional object (model) according to the principle of photosolidification” of Research Center Informatik at the University Karlsruhe, Dez. 1993;
An application for the generation of micro-technical, three-dimensional construction parts according to a similar process is described in the Utility Model DE 299 11 122 U1 “Device for the production of a three-dimensional object” DeltaMed et al., June 1999.
PCT Application 02 008 019.8 “Device for the production of a three-dimensional object” of Envision Technologies GmbH, April 2002.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,180,050 describes a linear scan technique for layer-wise solidification in the production of three-dimensional objects. The resolution is enhanced by scanning, in X-direction, an illumination head having an array of optical fibers, which are displaced in the Y-direction.
With all of the above described processes, the resolution of the material layer to be hardened is in direct dependency from the resolution of an image forming process.
With the projection processes, an intermediary positioned optic additionally determines the scale of the projected or solidifiable layer.
The resolution per area unit in the image/construction plane thus is dependent on a) the resolution of the image forming unit or the smallest element, called pixel, and their relative mutual distances, called pixel-pitch, and b) the projection scale.
The surface roughness of the construction part thus is determined by the smallest volume unit of one voxel (volume-pixel), the size of which is composed of the projected pixel area in XY and the layer thickness in Z. The resolution of the layer thickness is prescribed by the smallest resolution (step level) of the actuator in Z, in order to move the support platform. Resolutions already down to the one-figure μm range is achievable hereby. If an even lower surface roughness of the construction part shall be realized, the projection field and concurrently the width of the pixel area must be down-sized.
As an example, the projection m.H. of a multi-media projector shall be mentioned here; with a resolution of XGA (1024×768 image dots), a pixel of 17 μm and pixel-pitch of 17.9 μm, one realizes, at a projection to 275 mm×206 mm with an enhancement factor of the projection optic of 15, a resolution in the image/construction plane and thus in the layer to be solidified of approximately 100 dpi, which corresponds to a pixel size in the projection plane of about 0.254 mm×0.254 mm.
In order to e.g. double the resolution in the image-/construction plane, while maintaining the same construction area, it is proposed in the projection processes to half the projection/enhancement factor (which means to quarter the area) and, for the illumination of the four partial planes, to shift either the whole projection unit or the construction space mutually in parallel.
This process has the significant drawback that relatively high masses have to be moved towards each other very precisely in order to ensure an exact abutment and a close connection of the partial planes, which means a considerable expenditure of costs and additional need of space in the whole arrangement for the mechanics required therefore.
With the selective direct illumination by scanning m.H. of a LED- or laser-diode-line/-matrix or direct illumination by a mask, which is formed by a transmissive LCD, the resolution in the construction plane is equivalent to the resolution in the image forming unit.
It is an object of the invention to provide a process or a device which can enhance the resolution in the construction plane, while maintaining the same large construction area, many times in the sub-pixel range, i.e. to refine the rastering of the outer and inner contours in the sectional planes of the object,
The present invention provides a process for the production of a three-dimensional object by layer-wise solidification of a material solidifiable by the action of electromagnetic irradiation by means of mask illumination, wherein the mask is produced by an image forming unit having a prescribed resolution, which mask is formed from a constant number of image forming elements (pixel) being discrete and spatially arranged in a fixed manner to each other, characterized in that, for improving the resolution in the sub-pixel range along the outer and inner contours of the sectional areas of the object to be generated layer-wise, a multiple illumination is carried out for each layer which consists of a sequence of a multitude of images mutually shifted in the sub-pixel range in the image/construction plane, wherein a separate mask/bitmap is produced for each shifted image.
The invention also provides a device for the production of a three-dimensional object by layer-wise solidification of a material which is solidifiable under the application of electromagnetic irradiation by means of mask illumination, whereby the irradiation necessary for hardening is imaged into the image/construction plane, wherein the device comprises a rastered, image forming unit for the selective illumination, which is embodied either by line or by matrix, characterized in that the image forming unit composes the image from individual image dots (pixels) and thus forms a rastered mask (bitmap), wherein the pixels are arranged within the plane in a manner mutually fixed to each other, and that the image forming unit and/or an imaging optic which is provided between the image forming unit and the image/construction plane is/are designed such that a sequence of a multitude of images, which are mutually shifted in a sub-pixel range, can be created, wherein a separate mask/bitmap can be produced for each shifted image.
Preferred embodiments of the process of the present invention include one or more of the following features:
Preferred embodiments of the device of the present invention include one or more of the following features:
By means of the process of the invention or the device of the invention, the resolution in the image/construction plane is improved in the sub-pixel range by means of “pixel-shift”.
In particular, the present invention deals with the layer-wise solidification for the production of three-dimensional objects or construction elements by means of solidification of material (specifically by means of photo-polymerization) through mask projection, but not with a conventional layer-wise solidification through (linear) scan technique. This can be carried out according to the invention very efficiently and advantageously by using a two-dimensionally set array as the image generating element, wherein raster and/or resolution is(are) preset, e.g. by means of a set micro mirror array.
Compared to the scan technique, which is called VAROS (Variable Refraction Optical System) by Canon and “Double-CCD” by Epson, the principle of reading and overlapping of images mutually shifted in the sub-pixel range is used in this invention for rastered image forming processes of rapid prototyping.
The resolution or the number of image dots of the rastered, image forming unit itself does not have to be increased in order to realize an improvement in the solution within the construction plane.
For the enhancement of the resolution, the illumination does not occur in correspondingly down-sized, adjacently disposed partial areas, whereby the construction/illumination period for the whole area would be increased by the number of partial areas; rather, the projection/illumination occurs over the whole construction area.
By the measure that an overlapping of images that are mutually shifted in the sub-pixel range takes place, the construction/illumination period of the whole area increases only insubstantially.
The level of resolution improvement within the construction plane can be chosen freely.
The present invention will be explained in detail in the following by way of examples and not in a limiting manner by means of drawings.
By a simple example,
The sectional area, i.e. the outer and inner contours, are prescribed by a sectorial trail 11, which is superimposed by a rastered area (bitmap) 12, the solution of which exactly corresponds to the resolution of the discrete elements (pixels) within the projected image 8 which is formed by the image forming matrix. Vectorial trail 11 and bitmap 12 thus exist within a superior-ordered XY-coordinate system 10.
A simplified process for resolution improvement is achieved by the measure that only bitmap 12 of the started position (
Depending on the resolution improvement desired for each object layer, a multiple (at least twice) of masks or bitmaps having different sub-pixel shifts can be generated and superimposed.
By means of a differently shifted and superimposed illumination of each object/material layer (here by means of bitmaps 12, 14, 16, 18), a resolution improvement in XY in the portion of outer and inner contours is achieved. In order to realize respective sub-pixel shifts in the image within the construction plane, the following various embodiments are described:
The embodiments 1) to 5) or a) to c) described above can be realized individually or combined with each other.
The bitmaps of each individual layer necessary for mask projection are generated from layer data, in which the outer and inner contours of the respective object section is represented in vectorial trails (as e.g. defined in the data format CLI).
For this, a specific SW is used which carries out the transformation of the vectorial trails into the bitmap format (bitmapping).
For each sub-pixel shift in XY, a separate bitmap is generated by transforming the XY coordinates of the vectors (for the outer and the inner contours) of the layer data by the respective shift-offset in XY (in the sub-pixel range), and by superposing them over the bitmap-raster, and thus by calculating a new distribution of active pixels for each shift.
The projected light output per pixel can be varied by “grey scaling” within a projection mask, in order to selectively influence the hardening level in one layer thereby. This is particularly meaningful in order to raise the light output of the pixels of the contour because only partial superimposition of the respective pixels of the contour are produced here due to the sub-pixel shift over individual bitmaps (in the areas within the contours a complete superimposition of the pixels of each individual bitmap is ensured).
When projecting/superimposing the section images shifted by sub-pixels, an almost homogeneous distribution of the light output or the illumination intensity can be achieved by means of the superimposition of grey scalings, particularly along the contours of the projected area structure, through the sum of the grey scaling masks.
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|EP1880830A1||19 Jul 2006||23 Ene 2008||Envisiontec GmbH||Method and device for producing a three-dimensional object, and computer and data carrier useful thereof|
|EP1880830B1||19 Jul 2006||21 Dic 2011||Envisiontec GmbH||Method and device for producing a three-dimensional object, and computer and data carrier useful thereof|
|EP1894704A1||29 Ago 2007||5 Mar 2008||3D Systems, Inc.||Improved wall smoothness, feature accuracy and resolution in projected images via control of exposure levels in solid imaging|
|EP1894704B1||29 Ago 2007||28 Jun 2017||3D Systems, Inc.||Improved wall smoothness, feature accuracy and resolution in projected images via control of exposure levels in solid imaging|
|EP1950032A2||16 Ene 2008||30 Jul 2008||3D Systems, Inc.||Imager and method for consistent repeatable alignment in a solid imaging apparatus|
|EP1950032B1||16 Ene 2008||20 Jun 2012||3D Systems, Inc.||Method for aligning an imager of a solid imaging apparatus and imager assembly|
|EP2011631A1||4 Jul 2007||7 Ene 2009||Envisiontec GmbH||Process and device for producing a three-dimensional object|
|EP2011631B1||4 Jul 2007||18 Abr 2012||Envisiontec GmbH||Process and device for producing a three-dimensional object|
|FR2254194A5||Título no disponible|
|FR2583334A1||Título no disponible|
|FR2692053A1||Título no disponible|
|JP04371829A||Título no disponible|
|JP08192469A||Título no disponible|
|WO2001/00390A1||Título no disponible|
|WO1995011007A1||18 Oct 1994||27 Abr 1995||Massachusetts Institute Of Technology||Preparation of medical devices by solid free-form fabrication methods|
|WO1995015841A1||9 Dic 1993||15 Jun 1995||Finab Limited||Machine for making objects by selectively photopolymerising layered liquids or powders|
|WO1996000422A1||23 Jun 1995||4 Ene 1996||Hercules Incorporated||Programmable mask for producing three-dimensional objects|
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|WO2002027408A2||27 Sep 2001||4 Abr 2002||The Regents Of The University Of California||Dynamic mask projection stereo micro lithography|
|WO2003059184A2||20 Dic 2002||24 Jul 2003||Biomat Sciences, Inc.||Process of making dental restorations|
|1||37 CFR 1.99 Submission and declaration.|
|2||3D Systems, Inc. v. Envisiontec, Inc., et al. Special Masters Report and Recommendation on the Parties' Summary Judgement Motions.|
|3||4 W. Allen, R. Ulichney "Wobulation: Doubling the Addressed Resolution," SID 05 Digest, 2005.|
|4||Burns, "Automatic Fabrication Improving Productivity in Manufacturing", 1993 (ISBN 0-13-119462-3).|
|5||C. Sun, et al., "Projection Micro-Stereolithography Using Digital Micro-Mirror Dynamic mask," Sensors and Actuators A 121 (2005) 113-120.|
|6||http:/www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2004/040609a.html "HP technology doubles the resolution of digital projection displays" Jun. 9, 2004.|
|7||IEEE Super Resolution article abstract vol. 20, issue 3, pp. 21-36, May 2003.|
|8||International Preliminary Report on Patentability for PCT/EP2008/009041, dated Apr. 27, 2010.|
|9||International Search Report (German Translation) for PCT/EP2005/005003, dated Oct. 5, 2004.|
|10||International Search Report for PCT/EP2008/009040, dated Feb. 4, 2009.|
|11||K. Takahashi, "A New Application of DMD to Photolithography and Rapid Prototyping System," Institute of Electronics, Information, and Communication Engineers.|
|12||Kuhtreiber, W., Ph.D., et al., "Cell Encapsulation Technology and Therapeutics," Birkhauser, Boston (1998).|
|13||Landers, R., and Mulhaupt, R., "Desktop Manufacturing of Complex Objects, Prototypes and Biomedical Scaffolds by means of Computer-Assisted Design Combined with Computer-Guided 3D Plotting of Polymers and Reactive Oligomers," Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 282:17-22 (2000).|
|14||Nikolaychik, V.V., et al., A New, Cryoprecipitate Based Coating for Improved Endothelial Cell Attachment and Growth on Medical Grade Artificial Surfaces:, ASAIO Journal, 40:M846-M852 (1994).|
|15||Okada, T., and Ikada, Y., "Tissue Reactions to Subcutaneously Implanted, Surface-Modified Silicones," Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, 27:1509-1518 (1993).|
|16||Opposition to EP 1,849,587, dated Apr. 8, 2010.|
|17||Relou, I.A., et al., "Effect of Culture Conditions on Endothelial Cell Growth and Responsiveness," Tissue & Cell, 30(5):525-538 (1998).|
|18||S. Ventura, et al., "Freeform Fabrication of Functional Silicon Nitride Components by Direct Photoshaping," Mat Res. Sol. Symp. Proc., vol. 625 (2000).|
|19||Sachs, E., et al., "Three Dimensional Printing: Rapid Tooling and Prototypes Directly from CAD Model," Journal of Engineering for Industry, 114:481-488 (1992).|
|20||Stark, G.B., et al., "Biological Matrices and Tissue Reconstruction," Springer Publications, Berlin (1998).|
|21||Wobulation, saved as PDF from the internet; wikipedia definition, citing several resolution-relate patents.|
|22||Wohlers Report 2000. "Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry Annual Worldwide Progress Report", T. Wohlers, Wohlers Association, Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado (2000).|
|23||Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority for PCT/EP2008/009040, dated Feb. 4, 2009.|
|24||Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority for PCT/EP2008/009041, dated Apr. 27, 2007.|
|Patente citante||Fecha de presentación||Fecha de publicación||Solicitante||Título|
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|US9598606||22 Dic 2015||21 Mar 2017||Carbon, Inc.||Methods of producing polyurethane three-dimensional objects from materials having multiple mechanisms of hardening|
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|Clasificación de EE.UU.||264/401, 264/497, 700/120|
|Clasificación internacional||G02F1/00, B29C67/00|
|Clasificación cooperativa||B29C64/129, B33Y50/02, B33Y30/00|
|26 Feb 2013||CC||Certificate of correction|
|7 Mar 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4