Nov.15, 2011

Stereolithography (SL or SLA from Stereolithography Aparatus) is an additive manufacturing technology for creating three-dimensional (3D) objects from CAD drawings such as prototypes, production models and parts. 

"Stereolithography (SL or SLA from Stereolithography Apparatus) is an additive manufacturing process using a vat of liquid UV-curable photopolymer "resin" and a UV laser to build parts one layer at a time. On each layer, the laser beam traces a cross-section pattern of the part onto the surface of the liquid resin. Exposure to the UV laser light cures, solidifies the pattern traced on the resin and adheres it to the layer below."

Stereolithography gives you an easy and fast way to convert CAD drawings to real objects. RobHopeless wanted a better printing resolution and quality than the currently 3D printer kits such as Makerbot, Ultimaker or Reprap can make. So he decided to make his own printer. 

The quality he has achieved is quite good and he can now make some beautiful prints. The only negative point is that the cost is high. Comparing to ABS or PLA for the plastic extrusion printers the cost of UV/Visible resins is about 4~5 times higher, 1 Liter around $200 - $250.

This project is Open Source Hardware. RobHopeless has wroten very detailed building process.

  • Step 1 Materials, Tools and Safety
  • Step 2 Y Axis
  • Step 3 X Axis
  • Step 4 Assemble X and Y
  • Step 5 Z Axis
  • Step 6 Finish the Box
  • Step 7 Stepper Driver Board
  • Step 8 Laser Driver Board
  • Step 9 Limit Switches
  • Step 10 Wire it all up
  • Step 11 Software Setup
  • Step 12 Laser and Iris Mount
  • Step 13 Print Something!
  • Step 14 Wrap up

The total of building the machine is around $600 - $800, according to RobHopeless. If you would also like to build one, you can following his process online or download the PDF file.


Posted in 3D Printer

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