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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