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Stereolithographic 3D Printing with Renewable Acrylates

Published: September 12th, 2018



1Professorship Sustainable Polymers, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, 2Macromolecular Chemistry and New Polymeric Materials, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen

A protocol for additive manufacturing with renewable photopolymer resins on a stereolithography apparatus is presented.

The accessibility of cost-competitive renewable materials and their application in additive manufacturing is essential for an efficient biobased economy. We demonstrate the rapid prototyping of sustainable resins using a stereolithographic 3D printer. Resin formulation takes place by straightforward mixing of biobased acrylate monomers and oligomers with a photoinitiatior and optical absorber. Resin viscosity is controlled by the monomer to oligomer ratio and is determined as a function of shear rate by a rheometer with parallel plate geometry. A stereolithographic apparatus charged with the biobased resins is employed to produce complex shaped prototypes with high accuracy. The products require a post-treatment, including alcohol rinsing and UV irradiation, to ensure complete curing. The high feature resolution and excellent surface finishing of the prototypes is revealed by scanning electron microscopy.

Rapid prototyping enables on-demand production and design freedom and allows the efficient manufacturing of 3D constructs in a layer-by-layer manner1. As a result, 3D printing as a fabrication technique has developed rapidly in recent years2. Various technologies are available, all relying on the translation of virtual models into physical objects, and applying processes such as extrusion, direct energy deposition, powder solidification, sheet lamination and photopolymerization. The latter involves stepwise UV curing of liquid photopolymer resins. In 1986, Hull and co-workers developed the stereolithography apparatus (SL....

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CAUTION: Please consult all relevant material safety data sheets (MSDS) before use.

1. Preparation of Photocurable Resin

NOTE: Please use personal protective equipment (safety glasses, gloves, lab coat) during the following procedure. See our previous work12 for more details on this section.

  1. Pour 50 g of 1,10-decanediol diacrylate (SA5201) in a 500 mL Erlenmeyer flask.
  2. Add 1.0 g of diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphi.......

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Four representative resin compositions are displayed in Table 1, along with their average biobased carbon content (BC) derived from the individual BC of the components. The resin viscosity (Figure 1) is influenced by the ratio of acrylate monomers and oligomers and typically demonstrates Newtonian behavior. The mechanical properties of parts manufactured from various resins were determined by stress-strain analysis. Figur.......

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Additive manufacturing is applied in fabrication of tailor-made prototypes and small series, when the higher production costs per part can compete with conventional processes since there is no need for production of molds and tools. In the last decade, the revenues from services and products related to additive manufacturing have grown exponentially13. The largest fraction of material sales is from photopolymers. The growth attracted attention and initiated the investments of major industries,

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This study was supported by GreenPAC Polymer Application Centre as part of Project 140413: "3D Printing in Production". We would like to acknowledge Albert Hartman, Corinne van Noordenne, Rens van Leeuwen, Anniek Bruins, Femke Tamminga, Jur van Dijken and Albert Woortman for facilitating the video shooting.


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Isobornyl acrylate  Sartomer SA5102 Acrylate monomer
1,10-decanediol diacrylate Sartomer SA5201 Acrylate monomer
Pentaerythritol tetraacrylate Sartomer SA5400 Acrylate monomer
Multifunctional epoxy acrylate Sartomer SA7101 Acrylate oligomer
Diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl) phosphine oxide (TPO), 97% Sigma Aldrich 415952 Photoinitiator
2,5-bis(5-tert-butyl-benzoxazol-2-yl)thiophene (BBOT), 99% Sigma Aldrich 223999 Optical absorber
Isopropyl alcohol (IPA), 99% Bleko 1010500 For alcohol bath (applied in Form Wash)
Paar Physica MCR300  Anton Paar - Rheometer with parallel plate geometry
Form 2 Printer Formlabs - Desktop SLA 3D printer
Form Wash  Formlabs - Washing station
Form Cure Formlabs - UV oven
Instron 4301 1KN Series IX Instron - Universal testing machine
Philips XL30 ESEM-FEG  Philips - Scanning electron microscope

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