RE: First DLP HDTV announcement

From: Brock Hinzmann (
Date: Sun May 02 1999 - 03:40:06 EEST

As Al Lightman correctly reports, the DLP is the light source for the RP
machine developed at SRI for DARPA. Patents were filed some time ago, but
no one has elected to commercialize the technology, in spite of the
potential for an extremely low-cost RP machine. The main purpose is to make
ceramic parts for gas turbine engines. The parts SRI made were tested and
found to perform up to the required standards.

The build material is a slurry, comprising a visible light-sensitive
photopolymer, which served as the binder, highly loaded with the ceramic
powder. The green ceramic parts were fired to burn out the binder. The machine
can as easily make all-plastic parts or, presumably, metal parts. The
slurry system also offers the potential for multiple slurry feeds to build
functionally-gradient materials. Again, as Al hints, this is for a visible
light material, not UV-sensitive material.

The light unit is the same one as in use by TI to make projectors, so it
is off-the-shelf technology and low cost, by RP standards, and is the
major cost of the system. With further development of the RP system, the
micromirrors have the potential to give it very fine accuracy. The units are
also very energy-efficient, with something like 95 percent light
pass-through, which is very high compared to the energy efficiency of using a laser
in most RP systems.

Unfortunately, the relatively small RP market was not attractive enough
to SRI's investors. And TI is not going to keep making the black and white
units needed for the RP system when a much larger color HDTV market
potential exists (I say potential, because I don't believe HDTV is not going to
take off very quickly). That may explain why the folks in Liverpool
couldn't buy one: It may be that TI doesn't want to make those units any more.

Sorry I didn't get to this string of messages sooner, due to travel, and
will likely not get to any new messages before Thursday, May 6, but if
anyone can convince someone that there's a $200 million to $300 million
market for $20k RP machines out there, the technology exists and the potential
exists for something under $10k.

Brock Hinzmann
Technology Navigator
Business Intelligence Center
SRI Consulting

Lightman, Allan J wrote:
>Elaine Hunt wrote:
>> Could this DLP be used one day in RP? It is mirror based.....if you
remember TI's patent.
>> > Hitachi and Texas Instruments Announce Agreement To Jointly Develop
>> >
>> > April 27, 1999 11:01 AM EDT

>> > Digital Light Processing technology chosen as basis for new
>> >all-digital multimedia display

>> Elaine T. Hunt, Director
>> Clemson University Laboratory to Advance Industrial
>> Prototyping
>> 206 Fluor Daniel Bldg. Clemson, SC 29643-0925
>> 864-656-0321 (voice) 864-656-4435 (fax)
>The concept of using DLPs for RP has been around for a while and, I
>that one system has been in use for a couple of years at SRI. From an
>stage TI mentioned the goal of HDTV resolution (about 2000x1000) and
>have been improving their processing and their yields at lower
>I have looked into the potential use for RP and I have had several
>discussions with folks at TI. There are a couple of items that you need
>be aware of. The mirrors are good in the visible region, it is not sure
>well they will reflect in the UV. A couple of years ago TI told me that
>there was some material left on the chip which might cause the mirrors
>freeze after extended exposure to UV (10 hours or so). This may not now
>the case but, as it does not affect visible operation, they may not have
>addressed the issue. Getting light into and out of these arrays is not
>trivial, particularly if you want to work at low magnification. TI
>maintains a wealth of information on their website.
>Allan Lightman
>> ------------------------------
>> Allan J. Lightman, Ph.D.
>> Senior Research Scientist
>> University of Dayton Research Institute
>> 300 College Park
>> Dayton, OH 45469-0150, USA
>> Voice: +1-937-229-3966
>> FAX: +1-937-229-3433
>> E-mail:
>> WWW:

Dear Elaine and List,

Dr. Bill O'Neill and myself have been trying to get hold of a DLP display
integrate it into an research RP system for about a YEAR now!!!!! The
trouble is that TI won't sell us one. I don't know why perhaps they are
already working with RP system manufacturers.

If anyone can point me in the right direction or perhaps give me some
contacts in TI who would be willing to help I would be very grateful.

Dr. Chris. Sutcliffe
RP and Micromanufacturing Research
Product Innovation and Development Centre
Department of Engineering
3 Brownlow St.
Liverpool L69 3GL
(0151) 794 8022 Direct
(0151) 794 8021 Secretary
01893 209 556 Bleeper

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