Stereolithography, abbreviated to SLA, is the first 3d printing technology, and it is still the commend way to produce high quality prints.
Sla starts with the vat full of liquid resin, a laser chases the path on the surface of the resin, curing sections will become the 3d prints.
The prints raises or lowers depending on the model, curing layer after layer until the print is complete.
Another technology is called DLP, or digital light processing. This printer uses projected light instead of the laser to kill liquid resin.
Sla printers are found from larger commercial machines to smaller desktop machine.
The picture below is the sla prints, this will be looked directly from the printer, let’s talk about some specifics of sla, objects are often whirled at 45 degreed during the printing process, while the vat of resin supports the over-hanging geometry 2 degree. The support stress is often added to sure all parts of prints remain stable during the printing process. The support material can be cut away once the print is finished.
Similar to filament-based printing, the color comes from the material itself, resin comes a variety of colors both clear and opaque.
These prints are really great at showing up highly detailed design.
Casual animators and designers are really like the resolution of sla prints, but they can be used for more that just usual types.
High-end machines can use high strength resin that is great for small production runs of functional parts, or other designs for casting which allows the 3d printing part to work as a mold.
Because sla prints is of high resolution, there are lots of layers for each 3d design. And the higher the resolution, the longer the print time, which means that this kind of printers will take extremely longer than other technologies like filament extrusion, but will print much thicker layers.