In Pictures: 3D printing - How does it really work?

Here are the nine most common 3D printer technologies

Technology No. 3: SLA What it is: Stereolithography (high-quality surface finishes and design accuracy). Also known as DLP: Digital Light Processing, a similar process that uses digital light processors instead of a laser to cure the resin.)

Inventors: Chuck Hull, 3D Systems

Year: 1984

Materials: ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), PC (polycarbonate), and PP (polypropylene) plastics plus other materials such as clear and high-heat materials.

Process: An ultraviolet laser travels across a tray of liquid curable photopolymer resin. One thin layer at a time solidifies to the next layer as the build platform rises up from the tray. After object is printed, it's cleaned in a chemical bath and cured in a UV oven.

Price Range: $600 to $50,000

Systems Sold by: 3D Systems, Formlabs, Envisiontec (DLP) and ZCorp (DLP)

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