Research Papers

Porous Structure Fabrication Using a Stereolithography-Based Sugar Foaming Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Xuan Song

Department of Mechanical
and Industrial Engineering,
The University of Iowa,
3131 Seamans Center,
Iowa City, IA 52242
e-mail: xuan-song@uiowa.edu

Zhuofeng Zhang

Department of Aerospace and
Mechanical Engineering,
University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, CA 90089
e-mail: zhuofenz@usc.edu

Zeyu Chen

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, CA 90089
e-mail: zeyuchen@usc.edu

Yong Chen

Epstein Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering,
University of Southern California,
GER 201, 3715 McClintock Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90089
e-mail: yongchen@usc.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 17, 2016; final manuscript received August 28, 2016; published online October 6, 2016. Editor: Y. Lawrence Yao.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 139(3), 031015 (Oct 06, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: MANU-16-1443; doi: 10.1115/1.4034666 History: Received August 17, 2016; Revised August 28, 2016

Porous structure has wide application in industry due to some of its unique properties such as low density, low thermal conductivity, high surface area, and efficient stress transmission. Both templating and foaming agent methods have been used to fabricate porous structures. However, these methods can only fabricate simple geometries. In recent years, many studies have been done to use additive manufacturing (AM), e.g., stereolithography apparatus (SLA), in the fabrication of porous structure; however, the porosity that can be achieved is relatively small due to the limited accuracy in building microscale features on a large area. This paper presents a projection-based SLA process to fabricate porous polymer structures using sugar particles as the foaming agent. With a solid loading of 50 wt.% of sugar in photocurable resin, the method can achieve a structure with much higher porosity. As shown in our results, the method can increase the porosity of fabricated scaffold structures by two times when compared to the current SLA method.

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Fig. 1

Applications of various foam structures [115]

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Fig. 2

Limited porosity is achieved by the SLA process due to limited printing resolution and material overcure

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Fig. 3

Porosity calculation: (a) a scaffold design and (b) material overcure in width and depth

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Fig. 4

Schematics of the sugar foaming method based on SLA

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Fig. 5

Increase porosity by the sugar foaming method

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Fig. 6

Cure depth with different cure times for different solid loadings

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Fig. 7

Description of sugar removal procedure

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Fig. 8

Cylinder shell structures with different thickness

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Fig. 9

Different support patterns for thin features

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Fig. 10

Microscope image after sugar removal: (a) before boiling and (b) after boiling

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Fig. 11

A glass composite foam structure fabricated by the sugar foaming-based SLA




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