Virtual and Physical Prototyping (Dec 2023)

Advances in precision microfabrication through digital light processing: system development, material and applications

  • Xinhui Wang,
  • Jinghang Liu,
  • Yang Zhang,
  • Per Magnus Kristiansen,
  • Aminul Islam,
  • Michael Gilchrist,
  • Nan Zhang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 18, no. 1


Read online

Digital Light Processing (DLP) is an advanced additive manufacturing technology which has garnered substantial recognition and has been extensively applications in various fields. This review focuses on the precision microfabrication process of DLP, providing an overview of the DLP 3D printing system, including the digital light engine, project lenses, motorised stage and resin vat for micro-structure fabrication. Additionally, this review paper comprehensively analyses commercially available DLP printers, covering resolution, cost and a detailed discussion on the importance of photopolymer resins, emphasising the monomer, photo-initiator, photo-absorber, etc. Based on the photopolymerisation theory, the DLP high-precision printing process is analysed, which is critical for producing complex microstructures. It also briefly discusses the application of DLP microfabrication including microfluidic chip printing. Finally, this paper summarises the advanced trends and challenges of DLP printing in high-precision, large-area, multi-material and high-speed printing; and it provides an in-depth understanding of DLP technology, highlighting its potential for various applications and addressing challenges that need to be overcome in future research.