The steps in the process are as follows.
First, a CAD model of the part is created and it is sliced into layers using Cubital's Data Front End® (DFE®) software. At the beginning of a layer creation step, the flat work surface is sprayed with photosensitive resin, as shown below:
For each layer, a photomask is produced using Cubital's proprietary ionographic printing technique, as illustrated below:
Next, the photomask is positioned over the work surface and a powerful UV lamp hardens the exposed photosensitive resin:
After the layer is cured, all uncured resin is vacuumed for recycling, leaving the hardened areas intact. The cured layer is passed beneath a strong linear UV lamp to fully cure it and to solidify any remnant particles, as illustrated below:
In the fifth step, wax replaces the cavities left by vacuuming the liquid resin. The wax is hardened by cooling to provide continuous, solid support for the model as it is fabricated. Extra supports are not needed.
In the final step before the next layer, the wax/resin surface is milled flat to an accurate, reliable finish for the next layer:
Once all layers are completed, the wax is removed, and any finishing operations such as sanding, etc. can be performed. No post-cure is necessary.