SLA is the abbreviation of “Stereo Lithography Apparatus”. It is the first Rapid Prototyping (RP) technology in the world, which has appeared and commercialized. It is also one of the most in-depth and widely used rapid prototyping technologies. The process is based on the principle of photopolymerization of liquid photosensitive resin.
- Firstly, the 3D solid model should be designed by CAD, the model is sliced by discrete program, the scan path is designed, and the generated data will precisely control the movement of the laser scanner and the lifting platform
- Then, the laser beam is irradiated to the surface of the liquid photosensitive resin through the designed scanning path, using the scanner controlled by the numerical control device. After curing a layer of resin in a specific area of the surface, when a layer is processed, a section of the part is generated.
- When a layer is finished, the platform moves at a safe distance. After the solid layer covering with another layer of liquid resin, the second layer is scanned. When the second solidified layer is firmly bonded to the previous solidified layer, ultimately the layers are superimposed to form a three-dimensional entity step by step.
- Finally, the prototype is taken out of the resin. The final curing is carried out, followed by polishing, electroplating, painting or coloring to obtain the desired product.
Benefits & Limitations of SLA
+ SLA has the faster processing speed, meanwhile the production cycle has been shortened, and cutting tools and molds are no longer necessary.
+SLA is able to produce parts with very high dimensional accuracy and with intricate details..
+ SLA visualizes CAD digital models and reduces the cost of bug fixes.
+ SLA provides samples for the experiment, and verify the results of the computer simulation calculation.
+SLA can be operated online and can be controlled remotely, which is conducive to the automation of production.
+ SLA has high molding precision and smooth surface, compared with the 3D printing process of hot-melt materials (such as FDM).
– The SLA system is a precision equipment for handling liquids, which is demanding in the working environment.
-SLA parts are mostly made of resin, with limited strength, rigidity and heat resistance, so that they are not suitable for long-term preservation.
Application area of SLA
Automobiles and motorcycles: SLA is used to design automotive and motorcycle exterior and interior parts, as well as to manufacture engines and cylinder heads
Household appliances: SLA is used to design the shape and structure of various household electrical products, assembly testing and functional verification, marketing, mold manufacturing.
Communication Products: SLA is used to design the shape and structure of communication products, to test requirement, to check functions and to manufacture molds.
Aerospace: SLA is used to directly produce special parts of impellers, turbines, blades of aviation.
Medical research: SLA is used to design, trial production, medical equipment CT, to scan physical information, to simulate surgery, to configure human bones and joints.