Additive manufacturing is a world of abbreviations. One continent of this world bears the name stereolithography with "countries" such as SLA, DLP, LFS or DCM. However, all of these processes have something in common: a liquid starting material and UV light.
Overview of additive manufacturing processes (Picture: SKZ)
In fact, stereolithography is the mother - or mother continent, to stay in the picture - of additive manufacturing. The first process, for which a patent was filed by Charles Hull, falls into this category. Common to all other processes is a liquid starting material, such as a resin, which is cured by UV light. Today's applications are, for example, the individual production of hearing aids or the production of special shoe soles.
The advantages of stereolithographic processes lie in the high image accuracy, which, in contrast to laser sintering, for example, also allows very smooth surfaces to be realized. Material consumption is also low, since unused material can be reused.
Disadvantages include the need for support structures for complex components, which must be removed after printing. In addition, the materials often tend to become brittle.
This is true at least in general. The various processes and base materials in the field of stereolithography naturally bring with them certain strengths and weaknesses in detail.