(Dr. Thomas Kurfess, advisor)
"A Multi-Axis Stereolithography Controller with a GUI"
In manufacturing there is a growing need for the ability to build around inserts such as bearings, metal shafts, or small electrical circuits using current rapid prototyping technology such as 3-D Systems SLA equipment. However, one of the major problems that arise is that of laser shadowing. Laser shadowing prevents the resin around the insert from being fully cured, thus leaving a less than adequate part. The purpose of this thesis is to design, build, and control a prototype system that lends itself a solution to the problem of laser shadowing. In addition, an easy to use graphical interface is developed using Visual Basic software.
The controller is implemented on a mechanical system consisting
of a three-axis motion table on which four galvanometers and a laser were
mounted. The system is controlled using a programmable multi-axis
control board (PMAC). While a total of seven axes are controlled,
only at most four axes are controlled simultaneously, thus simplifying
system control. This prototype system changes the path of the laser
spot from what is currently being used in available technology and shows
great promise in allowing resin to be cured near and around the insert,
thus eliminating laser shadowing. However, before the actual process
of building around inserts is feasible, a new recoating system must also