Stereolithography is a type of 3D printing technology that is used to create models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts. The process utilises photochemical processes that crosslink chemical monomers and oligomers. This allows the material to be built into a solid model. This type of technology can also be used for rapid prototyping and investment casting.
Stereolithography: A technology
Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing technology that uses a UV laser to build a 3D model layer by layer. The process is commonly used for prototyping and concept visualisation. However, the technology is also useful for short-run production of functional end-use parts. It offers rapid build times, superior quality right off the machine, and minimizes lead times.
Stereolithography is a very versatile printing technology, and is perfect for a range of manufacturing sectors. It allows for the creation of parts with intricate details and a variety of surface finishes. Additionally, parts produced with stereolithography can be embossed or engraved, or even matte or natural in appearance. It is becoming increasingly popular in the mechanical modelling industry, where its applications are diverse.
Stereolithography is one of the oldest and most widely used processes. It is often used to create prototypes, concept models, large models, form and fit models, investment casting patterns, master patterns, and more. It works by using thin layers of a photo-reactive resin and a UV laser to create the desired shape. After the part is printed, the build plate is removed, leaving a space for the uncured resin. This allows the designer to make adjustments and validate the design.
The most prominent benefits of stereolithography parts are their sharp details, curved surfaces, and smooth surfaces. Stereolithography has many applications beyond just special-grade applications, and companies like Formlabs are bringing the technology to the consumer market. This technology has huge potential in medical applications, prototyping, and automobile applications. With time, the technology will become more widely adopted and the ability to print small-scale models will become widespread.
Stereolithography has two primary forms: SLA and FDM. In stereolithography, a photopolymer is used as the modelling material. Photopolymer thickness varies from 0.025 to 0.3mm, but is often used in a 3D printer to create complex objects.
It is an additive manufacturing process
Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process that uses a photopolymerization process to create 3D models. This process is triggered by ultraviolet light and takes place in a bath containing a mixture of monomers, oligomers, and photoinitiators. This process produces parts with a high level of detail and accuracy. It also allows designers to choose from a variety of materials.
The main advantage of stereolithography is its accuracy and high resolution. It produces parts with the sharpest details and smoothest surface finish. Stereolithography is a versatile manufacturing process, as material manufacturers have come up with a variety of SLA resin formulations with a variety of mechanical, optical, and thermal properties.
The stereolithography process consists of two components: a laser and liquid photopolymer resin. When the laser beam hits the liquid resin, it traces the part’s pattern onto the surface. UV laser light then cures the pattern and joins the layers. This process is commonly used to create prototypes for new products.
Stereolithography was first developed in the 1970s by a Japanese scientist, Hideo Kodama. Charles Hull further refined the technology and filed a patent for the technique in 1984. Hull was working for a furniture company at the time and was motivated by the need to accelerate prototype development. His employer provided him with a small laboratory where he could experiment with stereolithography. After patenting the technology, Hull went on to start 3D Systems.
It is used for rapid prototyping
Stereolithography is a process that uses 3-D modelling to make prototype parts. The resulting models are durable and can be machined. They are also useful as master patterns for other manufacturing processes such as injection moulding, blow moulding, and metal casting. In addition to rapid prototyping, stereolithography allows for a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Stereolithography is one of the most popular rapid prototyping technologies available. It can produce highly accurate polymer parts. It was first developed in 1988 by 3D Systems, Inc., and was based on the work of inventor Charles Hull. The process involves using a UV laser to create a three-dimensional model. The object is then drawn in the model using the laser, which solidifies as the photopolymer molecules are exposed to light. A levelling blade then smooths the surface before depositing the next layer.
Another rapid prototyping method is fused deposition modelling, or FDM. This process uses a three-dimensional model that can be moulded using thermoplastic layers. This method is a popular choice for rapid prototyping because it can create soft, bouncy, or hard objects. It is especially useful for evaluating designs, as prototypes can help engineers validate design and functionality. The most common materials for FDM prototypes are ABS and polycarbonate.
Stereolithography is one of the most common additive manufacturing technologies. It has been used for rapid prototyping since 1989. It uses a UV laser to cure a photo-reactive resin layer-by-layer. It is considered one of the most accurate additive technologies. This makes it the ideal choice for rapid prototyping of intricate parts and large components.
It is used for investment casting
Using a 3D printer, companies can produce investment casting patterns for a variety of different types of parts. These patterns are created by a mould that is mostly hollow. The mould is then covered in a ceramic material before pouring metal over it. Using stereolithography as a template is a great way to create high-quality patterns without the need for expensive moulds.
Another benefit of this technology is that it speeds up the investment casting process by producing prototypes faster and with less cost. It also leaves a thin trail of hardening plastic that eventually forms a plastic part. This technique is especially useful for prototyping and proof of concept models. It is also an excellent way to create a ceramic mould that can be used in investment casting.
The Quick Cast process is another option for creating investment casting moulds using stereolithography parts. This process uses a lattice of struts to mould the part, which makes it more compliant. Unlike traditional investment casting, Quickcast uses ceramic moulds. Until now, most resins used in this process expanded during burnout and cracked the ceramic mould. However, newer, photopolymerizable epoxies are available. These resins have better properties and require less heat during postgelation polymerization, allowing the pattern to shrink more before final burnout.
The investment casting process begins with the preparation of a thin layer of light-curable resin. This layer is then exposed to a light source to cause selected portions of the layer to polymerize. This layer is then covered by a second layer of light-curable resin. Finally, a pattern is then invested in a mould material.