Vat photopolymerization of fly-like, complex micro-architectures with dissolvable supports

Zhenpeng Xu, Ryan Hensleigh, Nikhil JRK Gerard, Huachen Cui, Mourad Oudich, Wentao Chen, Yun Jing, Xiaoyu (Rayne) Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Recent advances in additive manufacturing of complex geometries enabled the creation of mechanical metamaterials whose exotic properties are based on local control of complex cell geometries. Overhanging and free-hanging features that lack continuous support layers in the previous build volume cannot be directly manufactured, imposing a major design limitation. The resulting metamaterials are limited to single homogenous structural materials, and inherently self-supporting geometries, resulting in constraints of achievable architectures. Realizing arbitrary features is compelling but is inherently limited by process and material support constraints. Here we present a novel light-based additive manufacturing approach capable of printing arbitrary micro-architectures comprising a large array of internally suspended features, large span overhang, and high aspect ratio struts. This method eliminates the need for manual removal of internal supports and enables a suite of multi-functional metamaterials with a range of designed properties, including wide bandgaps for elastic waves at low frequency, switchable wave transmissions, and products requiring no post support removal. We describe the synthesis and rapid printing of a variety of metamaterials comprising an extensive array of suspended features and demonstrate their metamaterial behaviors. The proposed approach removes scale and unit cell limitations and is capable of achieving embedded features across multiple materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102321
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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