Here is how to make a Stereolithography 3D Printer. It is still a bit of a work in progress but so far it is working pretty well. I’ll be honest, we’re throwing science at laying down the rails pdf walls here to see what sticks. No idea what it’ll do.
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 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. I also have some ideas how to redesign this project, for creation on a laser cutter.
I wouldn’t mind making kits for people if I had one. 250 so compared to ABS or PLA for the plastic extrusion printers it is about 4 – 5 times more as far as I can tell. There are other types of resin that are cheaper but I do not know how well they will work. Since I wasn’t really sure if this was going to be a viable method of creating 3D objects, this was a fairly cheap and quickly designed project. I have a small Taig CNC Mill for cutting metal so the custom parts are made of scrap aluminum I had laying around. You can probably use wood and maybe even hand cut the parts if you are careful. This is a list of the parts I used.
Various Male and female . They must protect against 405nm light to be effective. Well ventilated area, don’t inhale the vapors from the resin or those produced when curing. A couple of notes before you begin.
The bearing blocks come with a piece of plastic where the rail goes, this holds the bearings in place. Do not take it out. When putting the bearing block on the rail just push the plastic piece out with the rail. If you have to take the block off the rail push the rail out with the piece of plastic lining it up the way it came. Some of the pictures have bearings for support on the end of the Acme rods, I found that they were not needed due to the short length of the rod. If the assembly order doesn’t work right or you have questions about anything let me know and I will modify the instructable to include the changes. Please use laser safety goggles for 405nm lasers.
This laser is strong enough to cause permanent eye damage. Cut all the parts on the mill. The part drawings are attached as dxf files and the sketchup file is there also. Drill holes in the stepper mount flanges and the edge of the Acme nut block. Insert the Acme nut into the mounting block and mark the holes. Drill them out and tap them with a 4-40 tap or drill them larger and use machine screws long enough to go through and a nut to hold them.