Stereolithography (SL, SLA)

A UV laser cures a liquid photopolymer in a vat; the part is built by lowering the build platform into the vat where the laser sketches the layer of the object. The build platform is then slightly raised and the laser again sketches the layer. This process is repeated until the full object is built.

Advantages:

  • A wide range of material
  • Very good accuracy, surface finishes and details
  • Machines with large build volume enable large parts

Disadvantages:

  • Only works with photopolymers
  • Mechanical properties of parts are therefore not stable over time
  • Materials are expensive
  • The build process is slow
Video: