Improving the curing process

A project log for UV projection printer for PCBs and item marking

This tool can project UV mask and cure paint on various objects, including PCB prototypes, 3D prints, panels and household items

wojciech-adalbert-jWojciech "adalbert" J 10/08/2023 at 23:300 Comments

It would be great if the curing process could be done quicker than 10-15 minutes or so, which it currently takes. 

And the curing of UV paint can indeed be accelerated. With some heat and airflow, to be specific. I did try to spread some UV paint on test surfaces and exposed it under UV light with no mask, and a hot air gun set to temperature around 150C. And it did harden much quicker, which was to be expected, as I have already known that soldermask curing can be accelerated with heat (i learned that fact when I was using the UV soldermask for PCB repairs).

However the problem here is that the printing surface is covered with the exposure mask. Therefore "injecting" hot air under the mask could be challenging, but maybe it won't be impossible. Maybe some optics could be used to project the artwork from further away, leaving enough space for fans and heating elements.

Such paint curing acceleration system is something I should think about in the context of developing an "advanced" version of the printing machine (with the exposure mask displayed on an electronic screen).