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6253116: Method and apparatus for rapid freezing prototyping

INVENTORS: Zhang; Wei (Kearny, NJ); Leu; Ming C. (Pine Brook, NJ); Ji; Zhiming (Newark, NJ); Yan; Yongnian (Bejing, CN)

ASSIGNEES: New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, NJ)

U.S. CLASS: 700/119; 700/123

ABSTRACT:: A method and apparatus for forming three-dimensional patterns by depositing a crystalloid material onto substrate in a layer by layer fashion. The apparatus includes a computer responsive for controlling the material depositing rate and the three-dimensional relative movement between the depositing head and the substrate. The controlling information comes from the sliced CAD model of the part. For each cross-section, the depositing head plots the boundary and the interior while the building material comes out of the head. The crystalloid material deposited on the substrate or previous layer of the part rapidly freezes forming a new layer of the part. The material can be deposited by a continuous extruding device or a drop-on-demand device. Where necessary, support structure is built in the same way but with material of a different melting point. The ambient temperature is accurately controlled to a certain low point in order to make the deposited material flow to a certain extent and freeze afte r a short time. The preferred crystalloid material is water or brine which does not pollute the environment. However, the invention encompasses the use of other crystalloid materials. XX

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REV 0 - - - 5/30/04