Stereo Lithography Application (SLA)

Basically, an item is designed in a 3-D CAD program
then the file is uploaded to the Stereo Lithography machine.
An elevator platform is submerged into a tank of photo
curable resin. The SL machine then uses a uv laser to cure
the resin in layers from the bottom up. Each layer is only
thousanths of an inch. As each layer is finished the platform
decends and the next layer is created. This repeats until
the part is complete. The part is then placed into a uv
curing oven for final hardening.

This process is also called rapid prototyping as a finished
part can be made in much less time than more conventional
means.

This process is being utilized in many industrial and
medical applications. From prototypes for automobiles
to toy action figures. The medical field has used this process
to create copies of a patients skull so that surgeons can |
better prepare for serious brain operations. The patient
is scanned using MRI and CAT scans and the data is
uploaded to the stereo lithography machine where
an exact copy of the patients skull is created there-by
giving the surgeons a better look at what they will be working on.