Stereolithography (SLA or SL; also known as stereolithography apparatus, optical fabrication, photo-solidification, or resin printing) is a form of 3D printing technology used for creating models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts in a layer by layer fashion using photochemical processes by which light causes chemical monomers and oligomers to cross-link together to form polymers. Those polymers then make up the body of a three-dimensional solid.
Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process that, in its most common form, works by focusing an ultraviolet (UV) laser on to a vat of photopolymer resin. With the help of computer aided manufacturing or computer-aided design (CAM/CAD) software, the UV laser is used to draw a pre-programmed design or shape on to the surface of the photopolymer vat. Photopolymers are sensitive to ultraviolet light, so the resin is photochemically solidified and forms a single layer of the desired 3D object.Then, the build platform lowers one layer and a blade recoats the top of the tank with resin.
This process is repeated for each layer of the design until the 3D object is complete. Completed parts must be washed with a solvent to clean wet resin from their surfaces