Photopolymerization based process is one of the most popular additive manufacturing (AM) processes. Two primary configurations for this process are laser based vector by vector scanning (0D) and projection based layer by layer exposing (2D). With the highly focused fine laser, the scanning based process can accomplish very high surface finishing and precision, however, due to the serial nature of scanning, this process suffers from the problem of slow speed. In contrast with laser scanning, projection based process can form the whole layer in one exposure, which leads to higher fabrication efficiency. However, due to the limited resolution of projection device and various optical defects, the surface quality will be significantly deteriorated for large area fabrication. To solve this problem, a novel hybrid process by integrating vector scanning and mask projection has been presented. In this process, laser is focused into a fine spot and used to scan the boundary of the layer, whereas the projector is focused onto a large platform surface and used to form the interior area of the layer. An efficient slicing method is proposed for extracting the contour for laser scanning. A slice to image conversion algorithm is also developed to convert the offset contour to grayscale image for mask projection. Experimental results have verified that the proposed hybrid process can significantly improve the fabrication speed without losing the surface quality.

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