The LOM process builds layered, three-dimensional objects by stacking and fusing thin layers of paper that are trimmed to shape using a CO2 Laser. Essential to this process are software algorithms that slice a CAD file into cross sectional layers and coordinate this information with system hardware. The building sequence begins with the lamination of a fresh layer of adhesive paper to a solid base. Lamination is accomplished with a heated, stainless steel roller.
Next, the laser cuts the part boundary contained within the first cross section, cutting only one layer deep. Second, the laser cuts the excess material in a crosshatch pattern. The excess material is not removed so as to provide support for subsequent layers. Next, an overall rectangular outline is cut, freeing the cross section from the paper roll. The platform then moves down and the feed paper advances. The sequence repeats when the platform returns to the paper level. The process continues, layer by layer, until all of the cross sections have been deposited and cut.
The product comes out of the machine as a rectangular block. The excess material surrounding the part has already been sectioned into crosshatched columns which are removed manually at the end of the process. The final LOM parts exhibit a wood-like appearance, are dimensionally stable, and can be finished by sanding or sealing if necessary.