If you're unfamiliar with some of the terms and phrases used in the RP process, please use the following as a quick reference guide:
Rapid Prototyping - RP:
Rapid prototyping is the process used to fabricate physical objects directly from CAD data sources. These methods are unique in that they add and bond materials in layers to form objects. With additive fabrication, the machine reads in data from a CAD drawing and lays down successive layers of liquid, powder, or sheet material, and in this way builds up the model from a series of cross sections. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross section from the CAD model, are joined together or fused automatically to create the final shape. Objects can be formed with any geometric complexity or intricacy without the need for elaborate machine setup or final assembly;
Stereolithography - SL/SLA:
A rapid prototyping process that fabricates a part layer by layer hardening a photopolymer with a guided laser beam. Stereolithography is frequently used as a general term for Rapid Prototyping.
A file format used in RP to define the geometry of the part to be made. STL files are created by CAD programs by translating their native files into the generic STL format. STL format is the standard data interface between CAD software and the RP machines. An STL file approximates the shape of a part or assembly using triangular facets. Smaller facets produce a higher quality surface.
Computer-Aided Design - CAD:
Also sometimes called computer-aided drafting, is a computer program which implements the functions of geometric design, drafting and documentation.
What is an FTP Site?
An FTP site is like a large filing cabinet. Filing options and general organisation of the files are decided by the operator i.e. which files are locked and which remain public (abiding by privacy regulations.) When connecting to an FTP Client, uploads are easier, faster, have more security and additional features are available. One major benefit is the ability to resume an upload that did not successfully finish.