Stereolithography (SLA) is an additive manufacturing process that belongs to the vat photopolymerization family.It is the first commercialized 3D printing technology, invented by 3D Systems’ Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Chuck Hull in the 1980s.
It uses an ultraviolet laser to precisely cure photopolymer cross-sections, transforming them from liquid to solid. Parts are built directly from CAD data, layer-by-layer into prototypes, investment casting patterns, tools, and end-use parts. Once the SLA printing process is complete, SLA parts are cleaned in a solvent solution to remove any residual uncured resin from the part surface.
SLA, or stereolithography, is a widely-used 3D printing process and the most popular of the resin printing technologies. The process owes its esteem in the additive space to its ability to produce prototypes that are accurate, isotropic and watertight, as well as production parts with impressive surface smoothness and more detailed features.
Delivering the smoothest surface finish of any additive manufacturing process, the quality of SLA parts makes this versatile technology great for: