Mammoth Stereolithography

 

In order to build single-piece stereolithography models with dimensions of more than two meters, Materialise has developed a unique technology: mammoth stereolithography. Materialise is well-known in the automotive industry for its extensive knowledge in the production of large prototypes. These large components are built in one piece on exclusive mammoth prototyping machines and serve as fully functional parts. Materialise is able to help car manufacturers gain a significant competitive advantage by providing these unique patented solutions.

Watch our Mammoth Stereolithography technology movie:
 

Mammoth Stereolithography from Materialise NV on Vimeo.

After 10 years of experience in the rapid prototyping business, the Materialise team developed a unique machine to build huge stereolithography parts in one piece. The idea of producing large components without any gluing arose out of the growing demand for extremely fast and large prototypes of superior quality. The enthusiasm behind this whole idea resulted in the creation of a mammoth machine with a build area of more than 2 meters. And now, only a few years later, the Materialise machine park houses several machines producing mammoth parts at full speed and meeting the ever growing demand for larger and larger functional prototypes.

Materialise offers car manufacturers this mammoth solution to shorten and improve their product development process. The unique competitive advantage resulting from this goes without saying.

 

 

The Technology

Mammoth systems offer not only the ability to print very large parts, but are also extremely fast and productive thanks to a patented curtain recoating technology which minimzses the dead time between layers.

The mammoth parts are constructed layer by layer in a liquid polymer that hardens when struck by a laser beam. Each time, the laser printed layers are  lowered together with the vessel's resin level. Afterwards, a small reservoir moves over the vessel and disposes a film of liquid polymer onto the whole vessel. This curtain recoating technology needs less time between layers than the traditional stereolithography technology which uses a scraper.

As a result of their unique combination of build size and speed, mammoth systems are especially suited to high volume prototyping operations requiring both large numbers of parts and large parts.