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SLA(Stereo Lithography Apparatus) prototyping parts are usually used to check appearance and fine particular, but fragile performance is weakness of SLA prototyping.

SLA(Stereo Lithography Apparatus/Stereolithography) was developed by Chuck W. Hull in 1986. SLA is an additive manufacturing technology for producing models, prototypes, patterns, and in some cases, production parts.

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

After a pattern has been traced, the SLA’s elevator platform descends by a single layer thickness, typically 0.05 mm to 0.15 mm. Then, a resin-filled blade sweeps across the part cross section, re-coating it with fresh material. On this new liquid surface, the subsequent layer pattern is traced, adhering to the previous layer. A complete 3-D part is formed by this process. After building, parts are cleaned of excess resin by immersion in a chemical bath and then cured in a UV oven.

SLA requires the use of support structures to attach the part to the elevator platform and to prevent certain geometry from not only deflecting due to gravity, but to also accurately hold the 2D cross sections in place such that they resist lateral pressure from the re-coater blade.Supports are generated automatically during the preparation of 3D CAD models for use on the SlA machine, although they may be manipulated manually. Supports must be removed from the finished product manually; this is not true for all rapid prototyping technologies.