A 3D model is built by cutting it into thin layers via specialized software. A support structure is created, where needed, to deal with overhangs and cavities.
The process takes place in a large tank and begins when a layer of liquid polymer is spread over a platform. The machine then uses a computer controlled laser to draw the first layer onto the surface of a liquid polymer, which hardens where struck by the laser. The model is then lowered,, and the next layer is then drawn directly on top of the previous one. This is repeated until the model is finished. In this way, layer by layer, an object is “drawn” in the liquid by the beam, with the layers being consolidated throughout the process.
When the object is complete, it is raised out of the tank via the supporting platform- much like a submarine rising to the surface of the water – with the excess liquid flowing away. The supports are removed manually after the model is taken from the machine.