What is Stereolithography (SL)?

Stereolithography (SL) is a laser-based 3D printing process that uses a liquid photopolymer resin which is selectively hardened by an Ultra Violet (UV) laser beam. The imaging process is done layer by layer as the platform lowers until the printing is complete. The object is then rinsed and further cured in a UV oven.

SL is a widely used rapid prototyping process that can handle large prototypes and odd shapes. It is an ideal solution for the inexpensive and quick fabrication of 3D models for use in a wide range of applications. Objects made with an SL Apparatus (SLA) are accurate, durable, and have smooth surfaces.

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Stereolithography (SL) Applications

Concept Models
With short lead times and a wide variety of material options, SL is perfect for creating concept models to a high accuracy for design verification.

 

Design Evaluation Models
Inexpensive one-off prototypes for evaluating form and fit can be produced using SL that prints directly from CAD files.

 

Visual Prototypes
SL prototypes can be printed in high resolution and have smooth surfaces, making it ideal for use as appearance models or visual prototypes for photo shoots and market testing.

 

Tooling and Patterns
With a choice of materials to create tooling and fixtures, SL can also be used to print the master pattern for cast urethane and other investment castings.

Stereolithography (SL) Benefits

Large Builds
Large build platforms are available for the production of larger parts otherwise not possible with other 3D printing technology.

 

Complex Designs
SL is capable of producing parts with complex geometries and odd shapes that would otherwise be difficult with traditional methods.

 

Fast Turnaround
Depending on the size of the build, SL can deliver 3D-printed prototypes within hours or days.

 

Wide Selection of Materials
SL offers a wide selection of flexible, rigid, clear, and high-temp materials that also allow for post-processing to the desired finish.

 

High Resolution
SL is able to print highly detailed objects in standard or high resolution and to tight tolerances.

Stereolithography (SL) Materials and Finishes

Materials
Available materials used in SL include polypropylene, ABS, polycarbonate, SLArmor. Mechanical properties of materials range from rigid to flexible, clear and high-temp.

 

Finishes
Standard – Post-production includes washing, post-curing, sanding, and clear coating. Unfinished parts typically show build lines which will be removed with grit sandpaper.

Custom processing – Please contact our 3D specialists to discuss custom processing options (i.e. high glossing, sandblasting, painting, special coating, and covering). Call today (281) 335-3968.

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