Complex light in 3D printing

Christophe Moser, Paul Delrot, Damien Loterie, Edgar Morales Delgado, Miguel Modestino, Demetri Psaltis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


3D printing as a tool to generate complicated shapes from CAD files, on demand, with different materials from plastics to metals, is shortening product development cycles, enabling new design possibilities and can provide a mean to manufacture small volumes cost effectively. There are many technologies for 3D printing and the majority uses light in the process. In one process (Multi-jet modeling, polyjet, printoptical), a printhead prints layers of ultra-violet curable liquid plastic. Here, each nozzle deposits the material, which is then flooded by a UV curing lamp to harden it. In another process (Stereolithography), a focused UV laser beam provides both the spatial localization and the photo-hardening of the resin. Similarly, laser sintering works with metal powders by locally melting the material point by point and layer by layer. When the laser delivers ultra-fast focused pulses, nonlinear effects polymerize the material with high spatial resolution. In these processes, light is either focused in one spot and the part is made by scanning it or the light is expanded and covers a wide area for photopolymerization. Hence a fairly "simple" light field is used in both cases. Here, we give examples of how "complex light" brings additional level of complexity in 3D printing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComplex Light and Optical Forces X
EditorsEnrique J. Galvez, Jesper Gluckstad, David L. Andrews
ISBN (Electronic)9781628419993
StatePublished - 2016
Event10th Conference on Complex Light and Optical Forces - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 16 2016Feb 18 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


Other10th Conference on Complex Light and Optical Forces
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Directwriting
  • Drop-on-demand
  • Flow-focusing
  • Inkjet printing
  • Laser-assisted
  • Non-Newtonian
  • Polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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