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Proceedings Paper

Advantages and drawbacks of Thiol-ene based resins for 3D-printing
Author(s): Holger Leonards; Sascha Engelhardt; Andreas Hoffmann; Ludwig Pongratz; Sascha Schriever; Jana Bläsius; Martin M. Wehner; Arnold Gillner
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Paper Abstract

The technology of 3D printing is conquering the world and awakens the interest of many users in the most varying of applications. New formulation approaches for photo-sensitive thiol-ene resins in combination with various printing technologies, like stereolithography (SLA), projection based printing/digital light processing (DLP) or two-photon polymerization (TPP) are presented. Thiol-ene polymerizations are known for its fast and quantitative reaction and to form highly homogeneous polymer networks. As the resins are locally and temporally photo-curable the polymerization type is very promising for 3D-printing. By using suitable wavelengths, photoinitiator-free fabrication is feasible for single- and two photon induced polymerization. In this paper divinyl ethers of polyethylene glycols in combination with star-shaped tetrathiols were used to design a simple test-system for photo-curable thiol-ene resins. In order to control and improve curing depth and lateral resolution in 3D-polymerization processes, either additives in chemical formulation or process parameters can be changed. The achieved curing depth and resolution limits depend on the applied fabrication method. While two-/multiphoton induced lithography offers the possibility of micron- to sub-micron resolution it lacks in built-up speed. Hence single-photon polymerization is a fast alternative with optimization potential in sub-10-micron resolution. Absorber- and initiator free compositions were developed in order to avoid aging, yellowing and toxicity of resulting products. They can be cured with UV-laser radiation below 300 nm. The development at Fraunhofer ILT is focusing on new applications in the field of medical products and implants, technical products with respect to mechanical properties or optical properties of 3D-printed objects. Recent process results with model system (polyethylene glycol divinylether/ Pentaerithrytol tetrakis (3-mercaptopropionat), Raman measurements of polymer conversion and surface modifications using bifunctional crosslinkers are presented with advantages, drawbacks and a general outlook.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 March 2015
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9353, Laser 3D Manufacturing II, 93530F (16 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2081169
Show Author Affiliations
Holger Leonards, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)
Sascha Engelhardt, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)
RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)
Andreas Hoffmann, RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)
Ludwig Pongratz, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)
Sascha Schriever, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)
Jana Bläsius, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)
Martin M. Wehner, Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik (Germany)
Arnold Gillner, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9353:
Laser 3D Manufacturing II
Henry Helvajian; Alberto Piqué; Martin Wegener; Bo Gu, Editor(s)

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