Stereolithography (SLA) is one of the three main technologies used in 3D printing, as well as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). It belongs to the category of photosensitive resin 3D printers. A similar technology usually combined with SLA is called digital light processing (DLP). It represents an evolution of the SLA process, using a projector screen instead of a laser. What is the working principle of the SLA 3D printer? What are the advantages?
The working principle of a stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer is to use a high-power laser to harden the liquid resin in the container to produce the desired 3D shape. In short, the process uses low-power lasers and photopolymerization to convert photosensitive liquids into 3D solid plastics in a layer-by-layer manner.
Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing is an accurate functional prototyping technology on the market, which can create extremely high-quality prototypes with fine features (thin walls, sharp corners, etc.) and complex geometric shapes. The layer thickness can be as low as 25 μm, and the minimum size is between 50 and 250 μm.
Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing provides strict dimensional tolerances for any rapid prototyping or additive manufacturing technology: the first inch is +/-0.005″ (0.127mm), and each inch added is another 0.002″. The printing surface is smooth and the build area reaches as large as 50x50x60cm3 without losing precision.
The stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer is easy to assemble and maintain because of its simple structure without laser galvanometer or projection module. Moreover, compared with the previous generation of the SLA and DLP technology, its cost and performance ratio is quite outstanding. Using a 405nm backlight, it has a wide compatibility with all DLP resin types and most stereolithography resins. You’d only take care of some specific SLA resins to avoid incompatibility and lack of exposure.
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