Stereolithography . Felix Cabrera Day 1, 5/6. What is Stereolithography?.
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Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process using a liquid UV-curable photopolymer "resin" and a UV laser to build parts layer at a time. On each layer, the laser beam traces a part cross-section pattern on the surface of the liquid resin.
Stereolithography is used to create models, prototypes, patterns and in some instances production parts.
The Process first starts at a simple computer on a Computer Aided Design software (CAD) where the model, prototype is designed. The design is then sent to the machine where it starts. The 3-D printer's laser "paints" one of the layers, exposing the liquid plastic in the tank and hardening it the platform drops down into the tank a fraction of a millimeter and the laser paints the next layer, this happens over and over until the model is complete.
The word stereolithography was first defined in 1986 by Charles W. Hull, he described a concentrated beam of ultraviolet light focused onto the surface of a vat filled with liquid photopolymer. The light beam draws the object onto the surface of the liquid layer by layer, causing polymerization or crosslinking to give a solid. Because of the difficulty this method would only be completed by computers.
Stereolithography is a great advantage to the industrial word because a model can be designed and made from anywhere from hours to days instead of months.
Wile this process can be done quickly the cost of this can become costly, with the machine ranging from in the thousands to hundred thousand. The cost of the photo-curable resin can also cost from 80 to 200 dollars per liter