Method for rapid prototyping of solid models

  • US 5,866,058 A
  • Filed: 05/29/1997
  • Issued: 02/02/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/29/1997
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A method for making a three-dimensional physical object of a predetermined shape under control of a control system, said method employing a thermally solidifiable material having a solidification temperature and a creep relaxation temperature, said method comprising the steps of:

  • a) dispensing said thermally solidifiable material in a fluid state from an extruder into a build region having at least a local region temperature that exceeds the solidification temperature of the thermally solidifiable material;

    b) simultaneously with the dispensing of the said thermally solidifiable material, and in response to said control system, generating relative movement between the extruder and a support in the build region, so that the said thermally solidifiable material accumulates on said support to form a three-dimensional physical object; and

    c) solidifying said thermally solidifiable material by cooling said local region temperature and said material below the solidification temperature of the material.

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