• Farid Syazwan

What is SLA/DLP?

Updated: Jun 11, 2019

Eiffel tower is one of the favourite things to print as it will test the capability of 3D Printer for its accuracy, tiny and details features. SLA or DLP 3D Printers can do this job quite amazingly. SLA/DLP uses vat polymerisation techniques where a light source acts as heated nozzle to cure photopolymer resin. SLA/DLP best suited for parts that require a high level detail and a smooth surface.

SLA - The term Stereolithography (SLA) was coined by Charles Hull who patented the technology in 1986 and form a company known as 3D Systems to commercialised it. SLA process uses mirrors known as galvanometers or galvors to rapidly aim a laser beam across the vat, the print area, curing and solidifying resin as it goes along. The points breaks down the design layer by layer into a series of points and lines that a given to the galvor as a set of coordinates. Most SLA machines use a solid state laser to cure points.

DLP - Direct Light Processing (DLP) share a quite similar method of producing parts when compared to SLA. The main difference is that DLP uses a digital light projector to flash a single image of each layer all at once(or multiple flashes for larger parts). Because the projector is a digital screen, the image of each layer is composed of square pixels resulting in layer formed from small rectangular bricks called voxels.

DLP can print faster than SLA as entire layer is exposed all at once rather than tracing into cross-sectional area with a laser point. light is projected onto the resin using light emitting diode (LED) or a UV light source (Lamp) that is directed to the build surface by a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). DMD is an array of micro mirrors that control where light is projected and generate the light pattern on the build surface

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