An Investigation of Stereolithography as a Means of Prototyping from a Cad Database
DEFENCE RESEARCH ESTABLISHMENT OTTAWA (ONTARIO)
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The Stereolithography SLA process was investigated to test its efficacy in producing three-dimensional parts from a Unigraphics CAD file. The method uses a photo-sensitive resin that is cured by means of a laser beam. The laser is directed to follow the CAD file and a model is built up with successive layers of resin between 0.127 and 0.508 mm 0.005 and 0.020 inch. Once the model is constructed, it is bathed in ultra-violet light for a post curing process. It was found that the model undergoes various amounts of contraction and expansion, distorting its shape. A quantitative assessment of this is given. The process is very useful in producing a three-dimensional model from the CAD file, but the dimensional integrity is not sufficient for producing accurately dimensioned prototypes.
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