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Vat polymerization (VP) is an additive manufacturing (AM), or three-dimensional (3-D) printing process in which 3-D objects are produced by hardening a liquid polymer into the desired shape. With the introduction of new materials and improvements in material properties, VP offers a good alternative for AM for low-volume production. This overview of the VP process begins with an introduction to two main processes of VP, namely stereolithography apparatus and digital light processing, and then moves on to discuss the characteristics of the feedstocks used as well as their selection criteria. The article then covers safety issues associated with feedstock handling and the manufacturing constraints related to part orientation and design, providing some key tips for VP support structures. This is followed by a discussion on postprocessing/finishing of VP parts. A brief concluding section considers some special topics related to AM process.

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