Monday, November 14, 2011

Laser 3D Printer - Stereolithography at Home

It's working! It is a bit of a work in progress still but so far it is working pretty well. This is mainly an experiment which started as a Delta Robot Stereolithography Printer but ended as a more traditional Cartesian Stereolithography Printer. For how it was built, check out the instructable here.

"I'll be honest, we're throwing science at the walls here to see what sticks. No idea what it'll do." - Cave Johnson

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

I have wanted a 3D Printer for a while now and there are some very reasonably priced kits available like the MakerbotUltimaker and the RepRap project. I could have just bought a kit and started printing things but at the time I had not seen great resolution or print quality from those. I started looking around at the other 3D printing technologies and found SLA made some amazing quality prints, so I decided to try making my own. Since I started this a while back those projects have come a long way and they can make some beautiful prints now. There are also people working on a UV resin and DLP projector 3D printer which is showing promise. 


  1. Thank you!

    Very nice work and all the better for sharing it.

  2. Hi Rob,

    I'd seen your Delta and had hopes for that. I'd built a delta and it is functional with a Pololu Maestro Servo Driver. It's waiting for me to design the arduino and power. I used W.Adams's Polybot design for base - Kinda cool but, not stable for a printer.

    With your submissions to Instructables would a hacker be able to build the laser printer you have working? And who's and what plastic resin are you using? How do you clean the finished part? And note - if you build upside down as the V-Flash then you don't have to expose as much liquid at a time.

    GREAT JOB! Just TOO COOL!!!!!

  3. congrars .. amazing .. We are developing a sla 3DP based on visible light through an LCD display. for in house use only. The question is, we rely on resin used by already producing this type of 3DP.
    - junior veloso
    - Perfactory
    - Sedgwick3D
    - b9creator
    - alvaro m. fogasaa
    - rapidshape. of
    - and others.
    or try to develop our resins?
    how we can buy these resins of these producers to test?

  4. Hi, Nice project ! would like to have the laser make a x/y movement as a desktop printer and have the laser pulse, just as your Epilog does. Is that possible ?