SLA - Stereolitography
3D stereolithography - the first 3D printing technology
This process of additive production of prototype elements (rapid prototyping) consists in the gradual contouring of subsequent horizontal cross sections of the produced part by means of a laser on a gradually submerged platform in a bathtub with a photopolymer. Exposed to the laser light, the substance polymerizes and solidifies close to the surface of the solution. After contouring the layer, the platform is lowered by the exact thickness of the produced layer, and the whole process is repeated until the whole element is obtained. Before the irradiation phase of the next layer, the polymer is leveled to prevent differences in height due to the surface tension of the applied resins and their flow. After removing from the working vat, the element must be cured through UV radiation. This brief overview shows how 3D metal printing works. Of course, specialist equipment - 3D SLA printers - play a crucial role in the process.
3D SLA printer and its operation
SLA 3D application
- high-temperature applications
- details requiring high accuracy
Materials used in the SLA method
Acryl-based photo-polymer resins with very diverse mechanical and temperature properties that simulate ABS. The choice of material depends on the intended use of the prototype.
Main advantages of SLA technology
- printing speed
- high surface quality
- high accuracy, layer thickness from 0.15 mm to 0.025 mm
- ability to produce complicated shapes
- great for foundry and injection molding
- ability to print complicated shapes