- What is Stereolithography (SLA)?
SLA Stereolithography rapid prototyping services use an ultraviolet laser to cure photopolymer resin into a 3D shape. The laser traces the cross-sectional shape of the 3D object against the top surface of the resin bath. The exposed resin hardens while the machine’s build platform descends, setting the stage for a new layer of fresh resin to be coated to the object and traced by the laser. In SLA rapid prototyping, photopolymer resin is a polymer material that undergoes structural changes when exposed to light. Once a complete 3D printed object is formed, additional post processing may be required such as removal of support material, chemical bath, and UV curing (upon request).
With Stereolithography 3d printing services you can produce small sized functional parts within a day. Ultimately, production time does depend on the size of the model. Compared to FDM, SLA prototyping provides higher resolution and smoother surfaces.
- What type of objects are best for Stereolithography prototyping?
SLA rapid prototyping uses photosensitive resin plastic best fit for prototypes, patterns for injection molding, and metal casting applications. SLA printed parts offer normal strength properties and can be machined or customized. Some of the biggest parts 3D printed using SLA rapid prototyping measure close to 2m in length. We provide a network of stereolithography rapid prototyping 3D printers capable of producing both large and small SLA parts.
- Are there any disadvantages to SLA rapid prototyping?
Stereolithography prototyping services are more expensive due to the average cost of photo-sensitive resin ranging from $80 to over $200. However when comparing resolution and part quality, you’ll understand why it surpasses FDM prototyping services. Since there is only one particular resin being used at any one time during a 3D print process, supports do have to be removed by hand once the object is complete. Some photopolymer resins can be brittle depending on the object’s design but new improved resins are on their way to change this.
Unlike FDM, there is no dissolvable support structure that can be 3D printed separately from the model. Overall, industrial SLA rapid prototyping equipment is also fairly expensive. Thanks to the rise of the “maker” movement, consumer level SLA 3D printing is beginning to take shape. Companies such as FormLabs and FSL3D are setting the stage for desktop sized SLA fabrication. In due time, SLA 3D printing services will be just as affordable as FDM 3D printing services.
- Our SLA Prototyping Services
Our company maintains an exclusive suite of professional rapid prototyping services to suit any industry or application. Our team thrives on industry experience, quality control standards, and strategic alliances.
No matter the complexity of your project, we’ll offer:
1) Budget friendly service with fast turnaround times.
2) A consultative approach to creating your prototype design: service recommendations, 3D modeling, and material selection.
3) The largest network of SLA rapid prototyping services on the west coast, with access to a diverse set of SLA prototyping equipment.
- How do I get started having my object 3D printed with SLA rapid prototyping services?
Feel free to contact us through our website or over the phone for any questions. We have several team members who provide stereolithography 3d printing services to industries such as aerospace, medical, and architecture. We leverage a diverse set of 3D printing services so that your product is done with speed, accuracy, and quality.