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Companies have been producing high-accuracy prototype parts for decades utilizing stereolithography, where liquid is cured into a solid 3D shape.


Stereolithography (SLA) is a vat photopolymerization technique for additive manufacturing (AM) that creates 3D objects by selectively exposing liquid polymer resin to ultraviolet (UV) light. When the resin's photoreactive molecules are illuminated by UV light, they link together and become solid in a process known as photopolymerization.

A 3D printer device capable of stereolithography is called a "stereolithography apparatus" or SLA. The abbreviation "SLA" is used interchangeably to refer to both the AM technique and the apparatus. Unlike most other AM techniques that use a heat source to solidify materials into 3D objects, SLA uses only a UV light source.

Manufacturers commonly use stereolithography for relatively quick and inexpensive prototyping. The exact characteristics of the final 3D object depend on the photopolymer used. However, most prototypes and parts made with stereolithography are strong enough to be machined and can also be used to create master pattern casts for other manufacturing processes.

Related products: NX AM Fixed Plane | NX AM Multi-Axis | NX AM Build Optimizer

Stereolithography HighRes

Understand the benefits of stereolithography

Reproduce small details

Utilize the accuracy of stereolithography to reproduce minute details from a CAD model.

Accelerate prototyping

Expedite production of prototypes utilizing the inherent speed of stereolithography for 3D printing.

Reduce prototyping costs

Limit costs of prototyping dimensionally accurate parts with stereolithography.

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