Rapid prototyping is a new technology integrating Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Manufacturing(CAM), Computer Numerical Control (CNC), precision servo drive and new materials. There are a number of technologies used in rapid prototype including Stereo Lithography, Vacuum Casting, Reaction Injection Molding, Fused Deposition Modeling, Selected Laser Sintering, Laminated Object Manufacturing. Among those technologies, Stereo lithography is the earliest, most mature and most widely used rapid prototyping technology and what are stereolithography advantages and disadvantages?
What is Stereo lithography?
Stereo lithography, which is also called Stereolithography, SLA Rapid Prototyping, or short for SLA, is a form of rapid prototype technology.
Photosensitive resin, filled in the resin tank, will quickly cure under the UV laser beam irradiation. At the beginning of this SLA prototyping process, under computer numerical control, the focused laser beam begins to scan along the liquid surface. The resin being scanned is cured so as to get a cross-sectional plastic sheet. The worktable then is lowered for a new layer and endlessly all cured layers are firmly bonded for the final molding.
SLA rapid prototyping can get you direct plastic products and is suitable for small shaped parts. SLA is mainly used for prototyping of conceptual models, or for assembly inspection and process planning. Stereo lithography can also replace the wax mold casting as well as metal spraying mold, epoxy mold and other soft mode’s master mold.
What are the Stereolithography advantages?
The advantages of SLA rapid prototyping are as follows:
- Stable. Once the system starts to work, the entire process of SLA prototype is fully automated and does not require special attention until the end of the process.
- High dimensional accuracy. Stereo lithography ensures you that the accuracy is within 0.1mm for every workpiece.
- Good surface quality. The top surface of the workpiece is very smooth, the side is good as well.
- High system resolution. This stereolithography advantage makes complex structure easy.
What are the Stereolithography disadvantages?
SLA rapid prototyping has the below technical disadvantages:
1. The resin will absorb moisture in the air, resulting in the thin and soft parts curved as the time goes by.
2. The material of this kind rapid prototype is limited as it must be photosensitive resin. Workpieces made of this type of resin can not, in most cases, be tested for durability and thermal properties.
3, SLA rapid prototyping requires support structure for the workpiece in order that the each part can be reliably positioned.
SLA Rapid Prototyping in KAIAO
With over 10 years experience in Stereo lithography, KAIAO is one of the most reliable company for rapid prototyping with the focus on CNC machine and SLA prototyping. It is now able to build accurate support structure for every workpiece and make reliable prototyping.