Electro-Photography (EP) has been used for decades for fast, cheap, and reliable printing in offices and homes around the world. It has been shown that extending the use of EP for 3D printing is feasible; multiple layered prints are already commercially available (color laser printers) but only for a very limited number of layers. Many of the advantages of laser printing make EP 3D printing desirable including: speed, reliability, selective coloring, ability to print a thermoplastic, possibilities for multi-material printing, ability to print materials not amenable to liquid ink formulations. However, many challenges remain before EP-based 3D printing can be commercially viable. A limiting factor in using the same system architecture as a traditional laser printer is that as the thickness of the part increases, material deposition becomes more difficult with each layer since the increased thickness reduces the field strength. Different system configurations have been proposed where the layer is printed on intermediate stations and are subsequently transferred to the work piece. Layer registration and uniform transfer from the intermediate station become crucial factors in this architecture.

At the Print Research and Imaging Systems Modeling (PRISM) Lab preliminary tests have confirmed the feasibility of using EP for Additive Manufacturing (AM). However, similar issues were encountered to those reported in literature as the number of layers increased, resulting in non-uniform brittle 3D structures. The defects were present but not obvious at each layer, and as the part built up, the defects add up and became more obvious. The process, as in many printers, did not include a control system for the ultimate system output (print), and the actuation method (electrostatic charge) is not entirely well characterized or sensed to be used in a control system. This research intends to help the development of a model and an image-based sensing system that can be used for control of material deposition defects for an EP 3D printing process. This research leverages from the expertise at RIT and the Rochester area in Printing, Electrophotography, Rapid Prototyping, Control, and Imaging Sciences.

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Imaging Science (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


Marcos Esterman


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TR1042 .T64 2013


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes