Upconversion 3D printing via modifaction of a desktop 3D printer

Published: 29 August 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/tdh45sybsn.1
Adilet Zhakeyev,


Traditional photopolymer-based 3D printing methods require sequential printing of thin layers, due to short penetration depths of UV or blue light sources used by these techniques. In contrast, our technique circumvents the layer-by-layer limitation by taking advantage of upconversion luminescence processes and the high penetration depths offered by near-infrared (NIR) lasers, allowing for selective crosslinking of voxels at any depth or position within the resin container. The implementation of this technique required a modification of a low-cost FDM printer, by incorporating a 980 nm laser and laser control circuit. The total cost of the parts required for modification was £180. With enhanced penetration depths up to 5.8 cm, the presented technique makes interweaving multicolor, mixed material samples, and metallic plated samples achievable [1], [2]. This method also allows for printing inside or through existing 3D printed parts. This opens doors for restoration of broken items, in situ bioprinting, 3D-circuitry, and notably, 3D printing inside cavities of a different material, illustrating numerous opportunities for practical applications.



Heriot-Watt University


Three Dimensional Printing


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council