Today’s 3-D printers are similarly crude. They all use Fused Depositon Modeling (FDM) technology and are essentially robotic hot glue guns. Fortunately, a new generation of higher-resolution, faster, and more reliable machines are starting to come to market.
This new breed of printer use Stereolithography (SLA) technology, utilizing light instead of heat to make models. How? A high powered light source hardens a cross section of light-sensitive liquid plastic. The machine then raises the build platform a smidge and the process is repeated. It’s very dramatic — models look like they are being pulled from a puddle of goo.
Read the complete article at Wired.