3D Systems has been granted a patent for a 3D printing system that uses a volume compensator to maintain resin levels during printing. The system analyzes signals to determine when to start printing based on the surface curvature, ensuring accurate and efficient production of 3D articles. GlobalData’s report on 3D Systems gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on 3D Systems, Spacecraft 3D Printing was a key innovation area identified from patents. 3D Systems's grant share as of February 2024 was 62%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

3d printing system for manufacturing articles with curved surfaces

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: 3D Systems Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11919230B2) discloses a three-dimensional (3D) printing system designed for manufacturing complex 3D articles with curved or angled surfaces. The system includes a resin vessel, an imaging system, a build plate with a defined vertical height difference, a vertical positioner, a resin level sensor, a volume compensator (VC), and a controller. The controller operates the VC to maintain the resin upper surface coincident with the build plane within a specified vertical tolerance range. It also analyzes signals to determine when to begin generating the 3D article after compensating for the vertical height difference and covering the angled or curved surface to define a horizontal plane for fabrication. Additionally, the system can generate frangible features and a support scaffold to facilitate the separation of the 3D article from the base layers.

Furthermore, the patent describes a method for manufacturing 3D articles using the system, involving monitoring the resin level sensor, generating base layers, analyzing signals to determine the appropriate time to start fabricating the 3D article, and maintaining the resin upper surface within the tolerance range. The method also includes generating frangible features and a support scaffold, similar to the system's capabilities. The patent highlights the importance of maintaining precise control over the resin upper surface and compensating for any vertical height differences to ensure the accurate fabrication of complex 3D articles with curved or angled surfaces.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.