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. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It just crawled from the depths of a resin vat...