Oxygen-Permeable Films for Continuous Additive, Subtractive, and Hybrid Additive/Subtractive Manufacturing

Puskal Kunwar, Zheng Xiong, Shannon Theresa McLoughlin, Pranav Soman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In the past 5 years, oxygen-permeable films have been widely used for continuous additive manufacturing. These films create a polymerization inhibition zone that facilitates continuous printing in the additive mode of fabrication. Typically, oxygen-permeable films made out of Teflon are currently used. These films are expensive and are not commonly available. Hence, this research work investigates the feasibility of using commonly available low-cost oxygen-permeable films made from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and polyurethane for continuous additive manufacturing. We also characterize the ablation depth range that can be achieved using these films and the potential use for subtractive ablation-based manufacturing as well as hybrid additive/subtractive manufacturing. Results demonstrate that the PDMS films (600 μm thick) can be used for both additive and subtractive modes, whereas spin-coated PDMS thin film (40 μm thick) on glass coverslip and breathe-easy polyurethane film (20 μm thick) laminated on glass coverslip are suitable only for additive mode of fabrication. The latter two films are oxygen impermeable, however, they retain oxygen, which is capable of creating dead zone and thereby facilitates continuous printing. We anticipate that this work will help researchers to choose the appropriate oxygen-permeable film for continuous additive, subtractive, and hybrid additive/subtractive manufacturing of complex three-dimensional structures for a range of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-221
Number of pages6
Journal3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Ablation z-range
  • Dead zone
  • Hybrid laser printing
  • Hydrogel
  • Oxygen-permeable films
  • Subtractive printing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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