ADK Materials & Process Development Photopolymerization HUB

The future of additive manufacturing materials & process development is here

Dyndrite is at the forefront of material and process development, leading the charge as it continues to empower jetting and photopolymer machine builders, material developers, and process engineers to create and deploy the products of the future. Join us as we push the industry forward.

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Materials & Process Development

When, “it prints” just isn’t good enough

With ever expanding options for available materials and printable parts, machine builders must overcome a number of physical challenges inherent in the physics of their  manufacturing process. If not addressed, these issues can limit:

  • Available materials (new materials, multi-material)
  • Printable parts (small features, thin walls etc.)
  • Quality of parts (material homogeneity, surface profile)
  • Flexibility when using aids such as supports

Conducting the geometric analysis at the resolution and scale needed for today’s machines can be extremely difficult. Most people find shortcuts or work arounds, while some simply avoid or ignore the issues all together. For some use cases, or within regulated industries, ignorance is not an option.

Dyndrite provides tools that enable engineers, technicians, and researchers to address and overcome process challenges, opening the door to new materials and previously unprintable part families. Machine builders can use Dyndrite to develop new processes and materials for existing machines, or create entirely new ones.

Engineering Challenges Solved

Materials & Process Development Challenges

All digital-to-physical 3D fabrication  processes come with their own sets of engineering challenges, often leading to part expectations not being met. A significant number of these issues though can be addressed using mathematical, geometric, and toolpathing control and compensation techniques.

Dyndrite marries our math, geometry, and computing skills to your chemistry, physics, and mechanical skills to provide you and your customers the geometry and toolpathing interfaces needed to deliver the parameters and compensations that meet your desired physics model, machine capability, material ability, or part characteristic.

To view photopolymer challenges and solutions, please fill out the form
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Photopolymerization Challenges

The principle challenges in photopolymer-based processes revolve around controlling the light engine/polymer kinetics. The equations that govern this reaction are primarily temperature, light intensity, and light duration.

Minor variations in light intensity and temperature change reaction rates and can dramatically change material properties, i.e., material toughness.

The key factors that control these reactions are:

  • Temperature
  • Temperature variation can lead to non-uniform material properties such as unexpected high elongation or brittle materials.
  • Temperature can vary across the build volume.
  • Temperature can vary based on a given parts’ cross-sectional area.
  • The entire build volume/system temperature varies over time as the vat itself heats up. This leads to layers being different.
  • Light input variations
  • Light engines (projectors, screens, lasers) often vary between 15-20% per projector.
  • Light intensity changes as a function of the LED temp and lifetime. Light sources lose 20-50% of energy over time.
  • Windows degrade and diffuse light, and this leads to lateral resolution issues.
  • Both the total energy delivered and the rate at which it is delivered must be controlled. This relates to lifting speed, lifting distance, and exposure time.
  • Light brightness directly relates to the size of the cured voxel. Surface roughness/anti-aliasing is a function of light intensity, layer speed, and size of voxels.
  • Part cross-sectional area
  • Cavitation force limits feature size due to cross-sectional area. For example, you may not be able to print a 1x1x1 cube.
  • Poor surface finish
  • This can lead to large amounts of smoothing/post processing work.
  • Resin/material sourcing variation
  • Multiple light sources and interactions between them
  • Over-cure or under-cure due to light penetration
  • Light penetration for a given resin/mixture is calculated via Beer–Lambert law and usually changes anywhere between 10 µm and 2 mm.
  • To learn more about the Jacobs working curve, see Eq (1,22)
  • Even more important when metals, fibers, or other materials are introduced in the resin.
The key to tackling all of the above issues comes down to controlling the light intensity and location based on the projector variance, the bed temperature variance, the resin material, and the geometry being printed. Dyndite’s Toolpathing API solves these issues, and more.
Dyndrite ADK Features
  • 3D Volumetric Segmentation Based on:
  • Surface Normal
  • Distance from Surface
  • Z-segmentation Based on Height
  • Functional Grading with
  • Color Channels (Grayscale or RGBA)
  • Distance Fields 
  • Inward and Outward Shelling
  • Multipart/Multi Material Booleans
  • Anisotropic Compensation
  • Design of Experiments Build Recipes for Fast Iteration
  • Lattice/Lightweighting
  • Variable Slice Heights

Why Dyndrite for Material and Process Development Workflow?

Regardless of the process, the aim is to improve the quality of parts, types of printable parts, and/or materials by applying the correct compensations. These compensations are done by changing the light intensity and the locations where light is delivered. From the software perspective, this means we want to send RGB or grayscale images to the light engine where the color denotes the light intensity. Dyndrite puts you in total control of your geometry rasterization process, enabling compensations that enable successful first-time prints.

Compensations are based on:

  • hardware (printhead/light engine/bed conditions and part location)
  • material (binder/powder/resin)
  • geometry of the part itself

Hardware and material compensations are machine-level corrections for the manufacturing process and are accounted for in a calibration and qualification process. These are machine settings based on the individual machine and the materials being used.

The compensation for the part itself requires advanced analysis of the geometry. Based on “how far inside” the part you are, and the “angle of the nearest” surface, one wants a different droplet size or light intensity. For example, in photopolymers you may want less light intensity toward the center of the part compared to the edges as the center has a higher temperature. You also may want to employ gray values on the edges to achieve sub pixel resolution.

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Dyndrite enables this advanced analysis via GPU-accelerated volumetric segmentation, which allows us to break up geometry into various areas of interest. We then assign different colors to each of these areas and by proxy vary the light intensity in the machine. These colors represent an additional part-level compensation based on part features,  beyond the hardware-, material-, and part location-based compensations.

Dyndrite’s Toolpathing API surpasses current layer-by-layer based Boolean toolpathing methodologies by using its GPU-based voxel engine to enable advanced 3D geometric queries into the part. The current 2.5D approach requires looking up and down 10+ layers at a given layer for part analysis to inform the print strategy for subsequent layers. This approach inherently misses part features such as thin walls due to abrupt changes between layers. This approach is also inherently unstable and error prone compared to the computationally intensive but direct 3D approach Dyndrite uses. Dyndrite’s volumetric geometric feature detection enables users to precisely prescribe custom build recipes/process parameters to reach desired outcomes.

Volumetric 3D assignment of parameters is based on distance from upward or downward faces, or the nearest surface. 3D fields are generated, thresholded, and Booleaned to enable the assignment of different parameters within a single model using the API. The discrete zoning process allows you to develop a robust build strategy, resolving large and small features at the resolution of the machine.

Volumetric segmentation enables high throughput in thicker sections, reducing the need for complex supports, and enabling new materials and special alloys. This ultimately allows you to expand the use of new materials and machines, further enabling new classes of part families.

Example Output

Downskins, 5 distance thresholds pictured
Upskins, 5 distance thresholds pictured
Distance based inskin, 5 distance thresholds pictured

*  Machine OEMs tend to cut corners by conducting layer Booleans up to 10 layers up and down in order to determine upskin and downskin. This is in contrast to Dyndrite conducting a true volumetric analysis.

Dyndrite ADK Product Tiers

Accelerate your journey.

Dyndrite ADK
Base

Base Additive CAM features needed for build prep and slicing to get you printing as quickly as possible.

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Dyndrite ADK
Pro

All the professional features you need to do materials and process development to create better parts, nest, generate supports, and build a bespoke application.

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Dyndrite ADK
Enterprise

For when you’re going into production or need something custom. All the features of ADK Pro, plus scriptable lights out automation.

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