An additive manufacturing technique called stereolithography (SLA) creates durable prototypes, patterns, and items from CAD blueprints. SLA makes it possible to weave prototypes out of solid plastic using a laser beam gun powered by CAD.
Optical fabrication, photo-solidification, solid free form solidification, and solid imaging are further names for stereolithography.
Techopedia Explains Stereolithography (SLA)
Smaller 3-D models and prototypes can be quickly built using SLA, and individual parts can be produced in a matter of hours. Similar to other additive manufacturing techniques, SLA builds a model in layers. Each layer's substance is made of curable photopolymer or liquid plastic. Layer after layer, up until all layers are drawn onto the liquid surface by the ultraviolet laser. Once a layer is complete, it is exposed to ultraviolet laser light, which solidifies the layer and enables it to meld with the one before it.
How Does It Work?
The initial step in additive manufacturing techniques is the creation of a 3D model using CAD software. The intended object is represented digitally in the generated CAD files.
The CAD files must be converted into STL files if they are not created automatically as such.
The stereolithographic software developed by the Abert Consulting Group exclusively for 3D Systems in 1987 uses a native file format called standard tessellation language (STL), sometimes known as "standard triangle language).
The surface geometry of the 3D object is described in STL files, whereas other typical CAD model properties like color and texture are ignored.
The pre-printer step is to feed an STL file into a 3D slicer software, such as Cura. Such platforms are responsible for generating G-code, the native language of 3D printers.