Cardiff University experts solve manufacturing problem

January 17, 2006

Experts at Cardiff University's Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC) have solved a problem affecting models made by Stereolithography (SLA). Patent applications have been lodged.

SLA creates prototype models of products, such as mobile phone covers or vacuum cleaner shells, by using an Ultra Violet light beam to solidify liquid resins in response to instructions fed into the machine from data created by a 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) model.

During the building process, these models – particularly hollow ones – can collapse, become deformed or simply inaccurate, which can result in time delays and increased costs as the failed process is disposed of and the new process is started. This problem is known as 'Trapped Volumes' and has now been remedied.

Professor of Advanced Manufacturing and Deputy Director of the MEC, Stefan Dimov said: "This is another example of the research work carried out at the MEC solving difficult technical problems, improving commercial practices and assisting the global competitiveness of UK manufacturing companies."

SLA came into vogue in the UK in the 1990s at the same time as 3D CAD systems became available at increasingly affordable prices. The process automated and largely replaced traditional model making skills, which meant that models could be made overnight and delivered to the client a couple of days later.

SLA is now widely used to create early examples of covers and components, which allows engineers to confirm the fit and iron out any problems with assembly. It also allows Marketing people to test the product in the marketplace at the earliest stage of product development.

Source: Cardiff University

Explore further: Efficient heating for electric cars

Related Stories

Efficient heating for electric cars

September 2, 2015

If you don't want to freeze in your electric car, you have to make a few concessions, because heating devours a substantial portion of power supply. Fraunhofer researchers will exhibit the demo model of a highly energy-efficient ...

Chocolate physics: How modeling could improve 'mouthfeel'

August 25, 2015

Lecithin is an ingredient that you've probably never heard of, but one that plays a vital role in the production of chocolate and many other foods. It's never been clear how this ingredient works on a molecular level, and ...

Recommended for you

For 2-D boron, it's all about that base

September 2, 2015

Rice University scientists have theoretically determined that the properties of atom-thick sheets of boron depend on where those atoms land.

Scientists discover key clues in turtle evolution

September 2, 2015

A research team led by NYIT scientist Gaberiel Bever has determined that a 260-million year-old fossil species found in South Africa's Karoo Basin provides a long awaited glimpse into the murky origins of turtles.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.