Scientists at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have demonstrated an impressively speedy new 3D printing technology. The demo used photocurable resin and targeted intersecting light beams to solidify precisely chosen areas of resin. In their tests, the scientists found they could produce a sample figurine 30x faster than conventional additive 3D printing techniques.
This method of 3D printing, using light to harden selective areas of resin, was first devised at EPFL about five years ago. It has taken that long for the scientists to refine the process and be confident in their achievement, boasting their 3D printer is "one of the fastest in the world."
3D printing aficionados are familiar with the way that traditional additive manufacturing works. It is naturally a pretty slow process, building up an object layer by layer, with drying/setting times involved, putting a brake on speeding up the process beyond certain limits.
The EPFL 3D printer is characterized as using a volumetric method to form objects. In simple terms, a quantity of resin is poured into a glass vessel and spun around. As the volume rotates, light beams intersect target areas of the liquid volume, which then become hard. The scientists claim it is "a very precise method and can produce objects at the same resolution as existing 3D-printing techniques." One of the most appealing features of this newly refined process is that its developers have made it extremely fast.
According to tomshardware.com