LOM (Laminated Object Manufacturing): 3D Printing with Layers of Paper
Laminated Object Manufacturing is a very fast and inexpensive way to 3D print objects in several kinds of materials. Sheets are bonded together and cut in the right geometry according to the 3D model. Laminated Object Manufacturing is mainly used for prototyping, not for production.
MCor developed a paper based technology that allows multicolor 3D printing.
Courtesy of MCor.
In the LOM technology, the layered material is rolled on the building platform . Usually the material is coated with an adhesive layer and the feeding roller heats in order to melt the adhesive. The layer is then glued to the previous one. A blade or a laser is used to draw the geometry of the object to build and draw crosses on the rest of the surface to facilitate the extraction of the final objects. At the end, the building platform contains a block composed of the final objects and the parallelepipoids that are to be withdrawn.
This technology is very versatile as almost any material can be glued. The more common material used is paper as it is easily cut. Plastic can also be used, using a blade or a laser during the cutting stage. Metallic sheets are more unusual because the cutting stage is more complicated.
This is a very simple process making it easy to use, cheap and fast. The printing precision depends on the layer thickness and thus depends on the material. Compared to other technologies, it is not considered as very precise. The withdrawal of the support parallelepipoids is an exhausting and critical task that can lead to damaged objects.
The technology has been brought to public by Cubic Technologies (formerly Helisys inc.) that propose a plastic LOM machine. Recently, MCor launched their paper based machine adding color to the technology.
LOM machines are used mainly for rapid proptotyping plastic parts. Its low price and fastness makes it convenient to make prototypes, even though the produced objects are far from end-use parts.
Mcor proposes a particular kind of LOM that they named Selective Deposition Lamination (SDL). It is a paper based technology that adds color in the print. Sheets of paper are colour printed, selectively glued and cut with a blade. The glue is only applied in the surface corresponding to the object, then it is easier to excavate the final object. Plus, the addition of colour allows this technology to compete with binder jetting technologies to produce multicolor objects, even if the quality is not the same.
MCor allows multicolor 3D prototyping, Binder Jetting does the same for production. If you are interested in 3D printing a multicolor object, download your model !
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