Term of Award

Fall 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Hossain Ahmed

Committee Member 1

Rafael Quirino

Committee Member 2

Mohammadamin Ezazi


Optical 3D printing is a branch of Additive manufacturing (AM) that utilizes low-waste production leading to efficient and rapid prototyping. Currently, this method of AM is associated with mainly petroleum-based resins. Bio-resin polymerization is an emerging research area for finding replacements for petroleum-based resins, but curing the resin with laser energy is not normally a practical use case. Current optical 3D printing uses lasers to cure liquid resins to form solid 3D objects in a layer-by-layer process which is time consuming, defect prone, and a leading limiting factor for high volume production; so, finding a way to incorporate bio-resin into the 3D printing industry while eliminating the necessity of layers in a 3D printed object is a long-term research goal for this study. One way of removing the layer lines is through polymerizing the resin below the surface, suspended by non-cured resin for structure and support. This idea has been dubbed Sub-Surface Laser Additive Manufacturing (SSLAM), and this study is the first stepping stone to the end goal; optimizing the optical polymerization of a bio-resin through the addition of energy absorption enhancers.

In this study, a tung oil based bio-resin is used to study how visible wavelength lasers can cure the resin only in localized areas, what parameters are necessary to consider for process optimization, and are there any additives that can be used to increase the curing rate of the resin. Using a bio-resin and visible wavelength lasers combats the inherent problems associated with petroleum-based resins and the safety risks of using UV light sources. This study involved three main concept areas: the tung oil bio-resin and what initiators to use, three lasers of differing wavelengths and power levels, and two different types of additives to increase energy absorbance into the resin. A thermal initiator of Di-tert-butyl Peroxide (DTB) with a 5% (wt.) concentration was used as the main initiator in this study. It was concluded that combining this bio-resin with complimentary colorant additives, local polymerization is possible. Ceramic additives and other resin constituents like polymerization catalysts should also be researched to further enhance this polymerization process.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Sunday, December 15, 2024