Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research

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Recently, microstructures fabricated using microstereolithography technology have been used in the biological, medical and mechanical fields. Microstereolithography can fabricate real 3D microstructures with fine features, although there is presently a limited number of materials available for use in the process. Deformation of the fine features on a fabricated microstructure remains a critical issue for successful part fabrication, and part deformation can occur during rinsing or during fabrication as a result of fluid flow forces that occur during movement of mechanical parts of the system. Deformation can result in failure to fabricate a particular feature by breaking the feature completely, spatial deflection of the feature, or attaching the feature to neighboring microstructures. To improve mechanical strength of fabricated microstructures, a clay nanocomposite can be used. In particular, a high-aspect ratio microstructure can be fabricated without distortion using photocurable liquid resin containing a clay nanocomposite. In this paper, a clay nanocomposite was blended with a photocurable liquid resin to solve the deformation problem that occurs during fabrication and rinsing. An optimal mixture ratio of a clay nanocomposite was found through tensile testing and the minimal allowable distance between microstructures was found through fabrication experimentation. Finally, using these results, high-aspect ratio microstructures were fabricated using a clay nanocomposite resin without distortion.

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Journal of the Korean Society for Precision Engineering





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