Digital Light Processing (DLP) System

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Digital Light Processing (DLP) is a 3D printing technology used in resin-based printers that uses a digital projection system to cure photosensitive liquid resin, creating the desired 3D object. While DLP and SLA use ultraviolet light to cure resin, their main difference is how UV light is applied to resin.

DLP 3D printers use a micromirror device (DMD) chip as their light source, which is commonly found in DLP projectors. The micromirror chip contains a series of tiny, electronically controlled mirrors that can tilt and reflect UV light as desired. Using the DMD chip to control the mirrors, the cross-sectional pattern of the 3D object is projected onto the resin layer by layer by controlling the mirrors.

The key components of a DLP 3D printer include:

  1. Resin vat: A container that holds the photosensitive liquid resin.
  2. Build platform: The surface where the object is built that moves up or down depending on the printed layer.
  3. DLP projector or UV LED light source: The device that projects the UV light pattern onto the resin surface.
  4. Digital micromirror device (DMD) chip: A component within the projector that controls UV light patterns with tiny mirrors.

DLP 3D printing offers several advantages, such as:

  1. Fast printing speed: Since DLP projects and cures the entire layer simultaneously, it can print faster than SLA, which traces each layer’s pattern by hand.
  2. High resolution: Due to their smooth surfaces and fine details, DLP printers are suitable for jewelry, dental, and prototyping applications.
  3. Fewer moving parts: As opposed to SLA printers, DLP printers require fewer mechanical components and are more compact.

In DLP printers, the resolution depends on the pixel density of the projector, so it might not be as precise as high-quality SLA printers with galvanometers



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