The commercialization of new products integrating many functions in a small volume requires more and more often the rapid prototyping of small high‐resolution objects, having intricate details, small openings and smooth surfaces. To give an answer to this demand, the stereolithography process has started to evolve towards a better resolution: the “small spot” stereolithography technology allows to reach a sufficient resolution for the manufacturing of a large range of small and precise prototype parts. Microstereolithography, a technique with resolution about an order of magnitude better than conventional stereolithography, is studied by different academic research groups. The integral microstereolithography machine developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne is described in this paper, and potential applications are presented. The resolutions of conventional, small spot and microstereolithography technologies are compared and the potential of the microstereolithography technique is shown for the manufacturing of small and complex objects.
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