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1. (WO2019063062) METHOD FOR CONTACTLESSLY LEVITATING A MASKING DEVICE
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CLAIMS:

1. A method, comprising:

contactlessly levitating a mask assembly (200) comprising a carrier (210) and a masking device (20) supported by the carrier; and

controlling a shape of the carrier while the mask assembly is contactlessly levitated.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the mask assembly is contactlessly levitated by a plurality of magnetic levitation forces (620, 920), the shape of the carrier being controlled by controlling the plurality of magnetic levitation forces.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein at least two magnetic levitation forces of the plurality of magnetic levitation forces have different magnitudes.

4. The method of any of the preceding claims, wherein the controlling the shape of the carrier includes providing a deformation of the carrier.

5. The method of any of the preceding claims, wherein the shape of the carrier is controlled to align the masking device.

6. The method of any of the preceding claims, wherein the mask assembly further comprises a mask support (310, 510), the masking device being connected to the mask support, the mask support being connected to the carrier, particularly wherein the mask support is a mask frame (510).

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the shape of the carrier is controlled to compensate for a deformation of the mask support.

8. The method of any of claims 6 or 7, wherein the mask support is a mask frame (510), the mask frame comprising a first frame element (522), wherein the shape of the carrier is controlled to align the first frame element with a substantially horizontal direction (692).

9. The method of any of the preceding claims, wherein the shape of the carrier is controlled exclusively by contactless forces.

10. A method, comprising:

contactlessly levitating a first mask assembly (200) by a first plurality of magnetic levitation forces (910), the first mask assembly comprising a first carrier (210) and a first masking device (20) supported by the first carrier;

measuring an alignment of the first masking device while the first mask assembly is contactlessly levitated by the first plurality of magnetic levitation forces;

calculating a second plurality of magnetic levitation forces (920); and

contactlessly levitating a mask assembly by the second plurality of magnetic levitation forces, the mask assembly comprising a carrier and a masking device supported by the carrier, wherein the mask assembly is the first mask assembly or a second mask assembly,

wherein the second plurality of magnetic levitation forces provide a deformation of the carrier.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein at least two magnetic levitation forces of the second plurality of magnetic levitation forces have different magnitudes.

12. The method of any of claims 10 or 11, further comprising:

determining, from at least the measured alignment of the first masking device, a deviation of the shape of the first masking device from a target shape.

13. An apparatus (1000), comprising:

a magnetic levitation system comprising a plurality of magnetic units (610);

a mask assembly (200) comprising a carrier (210) and a masking device (20) supported by the carrier; and

a control unit (1010) connected to the plurality of magnetic units,

the apparatus being configured for controlling the shape of the carrier while the mask assembly is contactlessly levitated.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the control unit is configured for controlling the plurality of magnetic units to control the shape of the carrier while the mask assembly is contactlessly levitated.

15. The apparatus of any of claims 13 or 14, further comprising one or more measuring devices (912, 914) configured for measuring an alignment of the masking device.