Patent Number: 6,165,406

Title: 3-D color model making apparatus and process

Abstract: A freeform fabrication process and apparatus for making a colorful 3-D object. The process includes (1) operating a multiple-channel droplet deposition device for supplying and, on demand, ejecting droplets of multiple liquid compositions containing a solidifiable baseline body-building material and different colorants; (2) providing a support platform a distance from this deposition device to receive the droplets therefrom; and (3) during the droplet ejecting process, moving the deposition device and the platform relative to one another in an X-Y plane and in a Z direction orthogonal to the X-Y plane so that the droplets are deposited to form multiple layers to build a colorful 3-D object. These steps are executed under the control of a computer system by taking additional steps of (4) creating a geometry and color pattern of the object on a computer with the geometry including a plurality of color-coded segments defining the object; (5) generating programmed signals corresponding to each of the segments in a predetermined sequence; and (6) moving the deposition device and the platform relative to each other in response to these programmed signals. Preferably, the system is also operated to generate a support structure for any un-supported feature of the object.

Inventors: Jang; Justin (Auburn, AL), Huang; Wen C. (Auburn, AL), Jang; Bor Z. (Auburn, AL)

Assignee: Nanotek Instruments, Inc.

International Classification: B29C 67/00 (20060101); G05B 19/4097 (20060101); G05B 19/4099 (20060101); B29C 041/02 (); B29C 041/52 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2013