Stereolithography(SLA) is an additive manufacturing process. It is a 3d printing technology. An ultraviolet (UV) laser will focus on a vat of photopolymer resin. With the help of computer aided manufacturing or computer-aided design (CAM/CAD) software, the UV laser will draw a pre-programmed design or shape on to the surface of the photopolymer vat.
Photopolymers are sensitive to ultraviolet light, so the resin can be solidified and forms a single layer of the desired 3D object. Then, the build platform moves down one layer and a sweeper will re-coat the surface of the tank with resin.
This process is repeated for each layer of the design until the 3D object is completed. To clean the wet resin off the surfaces you must wash the completed parts with a solvent .
Stereolithography parts have the highest accuracy and resolution, the smoothest surface finish and the clearest details of all plastic 3D printing technologies. When you take advantage of the limitations and benefits of this manufacturing process, you can achieve the best results. If you plan to paint or coat the printed objects, SLA will be a great option.
Designers can use SLA-printed models if they think a quick built time is a key to the product development cycle. You can take more time on finishing and post- processing techniques.
- First, the building platform is located in the tank of the liquid photopolymer, and the distance from the surface of the liquid is one layer.
- Then a UV laser will selectively cure and solidify the photopolymer resin to create the next layer. The laser beam will be focused in the predetermined path. The UV laser will scan the whole cross sectional area of the object, and the object will be fully solid.
- When a layer is complete, the building platform moves down at a safe distance and then a blade will recoat the top of the tank with resin. The process will repeat until the object is completed.
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