Stereolithography (SLA)

Stereolithography (SLA)

Stereolithography (SLA) Technology

Stereolithography (SLA or SL) is an additive manufacturing or 3D printing technology used for producing models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts up one layer at a time by curing a photo-reactive resin with a UV laser or another similar power source.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Stereolithography_3DPrinting Industry
The Stereolithography process explained. Picture: 3DPIndustry.com

SL: Quickly create complex Prototypes

Stereolithography is an established additive manufacturing process that can quickly and accurately create complex prototypes. Parts are built by curing paper-thin layers of liquid thermoset resin with an ultraviolet (UV) laser that draws on the surface of a resin to turn it from a liquid to solid layer. As each layer is completed, fresh, uncured resin is swept over the preceding layer and the process repeated until the part is finished.

Stereolithography: Minimal Stair Stepping

SL offers a range of plastic-like materials to choose from with several types of polypropylene and ABS available. Normal and high resolutions are achievable, meaning very fine details and cosmetic surfaces are possible. As a result, minimal “stair stepping” is seen compared to printed parts such as fused deposition modelling (FDM). SL parts can also be built to a max size of 736mm by 635mm by 533mm, giving it the edge over other additive processes like selective laser sintering (SLS).

The technology is also known as optical fabrication, photo-solidification, solid free-form fabrication, solid imaging and Resin printing technology.

Source: Wikipedia