Scientists in the US have created a replica of Auguste Rodin’s masterpiece the ‘Thinker’ using advanced 3D printing.
The replica was made using beams of light and photosensitive resin with a method called computed axial lithography.
This process is faster and more detailed than traditional methods of 3D printing, which build items layer by layer.
Instead, like a CT scan done in reverse, it projects a three-dimensional video into the syrup-like liquid while rotating for several minutes — then the fluid drains, leaving behind a complete, fully-formed 3D object.
‘This is a breakthrough in the space of possible methods to do additive manufacturing,’ said LLNL engineer Maxim Shusteff, a co-author on the paper.
‘What this approach does is make it possible for interesting polymer parts to be made much more quickly, which is often a bottleneck, and we can now think about using materials that don’t work well with slower layer-by-layer methods.’
The first experiments with CAL started in fall 2016.
For the first test, the Berkeley-based group successfully printed a 2D model of the CAL logo and followed that with simple 3D models of atoms and spheres.
Subsequent test included the printing of a small airplane model, lattice structures, a disconnected sphere inside of a cage and a lens.
The largest object they’ve printed to date was a model of a human-sized lower jawline, showing that CAL could be capably used to create dental implants.