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I have no prior experience with stereolithography 3D printers. For a research application I am considering the SLA approach but I have a more basic question.

I would like to use SLA in order to print porous structures from ice cores. Using X ray tomography I have raw data of very high resolution 3D images of the cores. The idea is to use this information in order to print representations of these cores to perform a diffusion study. Some of these cores come from depths below 50 m thus the snow has compacted in such way that volumes of air are occluded.

My question is if it is possible for SLA printers to print in such enclosed volumes. Imagine for example a solid cube with a gas bubble in the middle. Is that possible for an SLA printer and if yes will the bubble contain air or the liquid resin of the printer?

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    $\begingroup$ @Dr.MantisTobbogan - I thought I'd just say many thanks for your quality edits. However, please don't forget to remove signatures as well. Also (maybe) take some time to see some of your approved edits to see what else you could have fixed, to round of the edits nicely. Thanks again :-) $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Aug 6 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Greenonline, not a problem. Is there any meta page or general guidelines for editing that you know of that I can check out? I never thought that I should be removing signatures and obviously now want to see what else I can improve on. $\endgroup$ – Dr. Mantis Tobbogan Aug 6 at 14:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Dr.MantisTobbogan - That's a good point about the meta guidelines. There should be, but I really can't remember where. I'll have a look around and post a comment here, if I find one (else I'll write one). However, I think it is really a series of disparate meta posts, each dealing with a various facet, which isn't ideal at all. Generally it is by looking at other people's edits (across the various SE sites), that's how I got to pick it up... $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Aug 6 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ Basically: typos, removal of signatures and "Hi"/"Hi there", SI units, non-breaking space before SI units ( ), list formatting, quote formatting, image descriptions, and hover tags, clickable image display, inlining links with title of page, inlining youtube links with the title of video, man... the list is endless! :-) $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Aug 6 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ Another one to remove is 'Hope this helps' - "Stack Overflow is like an encyclopedia, so we prefer to omit these types of phrases. It is assumed that everyone here is trying to be helpful." $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Aug 6 at 14:59
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The bubble will contain air, but this will vary by printer. Most resin printers lift the printed part out of the bath slightly after each layer. Some printers, however, don't lift the piece completely out of the bath. This will cause the resin to become entrapped. Once those entrapped pockets of resin are exposed to light, they will also undergo photopolymerization. It may be possible however to program those printers to lift the part completely out of the resin for each layer.

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  • $\begingroup$ actually, due to how easy it is and speeding up the print, these days most don't lift it out of the resin vat but just raise it enough to separate it from the build surface. However, it's just a modification of the g-code increasing the raise it over that threshold... or the firmware. $\endgroup$ – Trish Sep 6 at 9:57

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