Modification of a desktop FFF printer via NIR laser addition for upconversion 3D printing

Adilet Zhakeyev, Rohith Devanathan, Jose Marques-Hueso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Traditional photopolymer-based 3D printing methods require sequential printing of thin layers, due to short penetration depths of UV or blue light sources used by these techniques. In contrast, upconversion 3D printing circumvents the layer-by-layer limitation by taking advantage of upconversion luminescence processes and the high penetration depths offered by near-infrared (NIR) lasers, allowing for selective crosslinking of voxels at any depth or position within the resin container. The implementation of this technique required the construction of a 3D printer with the ability of focusing the laser on any point of the space. For this, a low-cost fused filament fabrication (FFF) printer was modified by incorporating a 980 nm laser and laser control circuit. The total cost of the parts required for modification was £180. With enhanced penetration depths up to 5.8 cm, this method also allows for printing inside or through existing 3D printed parts. This opens doors for restoration of broken items, in situ bioprinting, 3D-circuitry, and notably, 3D printing inside cavities of a different material, illustrating numerous opportunities for practical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00520
Early online date19 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2024


  • FFF printer modification
  • NIR laser stereolithography
  • Upconversion 3D printing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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