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BCN3D new VLM resin 3D-printing technology explained

BCN3D is founded in 2015 in Barcelona, before being part of a non-profit technology organization under a different name back in 2011. They are one of the leading developers and manufacturers of FDM 3D printing solutions in the world. Their product offering consists of different printers, materials and software. Since 2022 BCN3D announced the development of a new, resin based 3D-printing technique. Called VLM – Viscous Lithography Manufacturing, BCN3D claims to develop a completely new technology with several advantages. The easiest way to understand this technology is by watching their youtube video below.

 

The technology behind BCN3D VLM

The trick of this technology is that you can process very viscous materials, and therefore have the option to formulate better materials. The technology is quite similar compared to Admatec and their ceramic slurry 3D-printer. By coating a thin viscous layer of resin on a thin film, then transport it to the curing window and expose the pattern. This pattern hardens in a similar way as a regular SLA / MSLA printer and cures to the previous layer. BCN3D claims that it works with an LCD screen as a light source and from the images it seems like the light source is on top and the printed part goes down. Usually a projector would be much easier to work with as you can focus on the plane where the part is actually printed. With an LCD screen you get only acceptable accuracy if you print as close to the display as possible.

BNCD3D resin 3D-printing technology viscous lithography manufacturing henkel high viscosity resin elastic thermoplastic photopolymer durable strong rubber

image by BCN3D: explaining the benefits of the VLM technology according to the manufacturer.

 

BCN3D VLM compatible resin

Currently the VLM technology of BCN3D is not yet available and we have to see what kind of resin will be available upon launch. When working with an LCD display, likely the operating wavelength is 405nm and a lot of resins are reactive in this range. At the time of writing it is unknown what the lower viscosity boundary is, it could be that most regular resins are too low viscous to work properly with this technique. Perhaps our most viscous comercial material Composite-X can run on it. To be continued…

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