SLA 3D Printing
Stereolithography or SLA is one of the earliest 3D printing technologies and one of the most versatile. It builds parts layer by layer from a photocurable resin. A high powered UV laser is focused onto the build platform to cure the material one layer at a time.
SLA offers a range of material options and provides parts with great accuracy to CAD and a good surface finish. The parts need to be built with support structures which are removed post process. SLA is a good option for prototypes and low volume production.
Advantages of SLA
- Great for aesthetic models
- Good surface finish/parts can be finished
- High accuracy and detail/resolution
- Wide range of materials including transparent
- Fast and inexpensive
What is it used for?
SLA is a good choice for prototypes and low volume production where accurate parts with a smooth surface finish are required. There are a range of different materials including high temp and transparent options. SLA is used for aesthetic models and pre-production assembly prototypes as well as low volume or bespoke production parts such as hearing aids.
SLA design tips
SLA produces parts which are highly accurate to CAD and can produce highly complex shapes and geometries. The parts are generally quoted by volume or weight and so in order to keep costs down you can hollow out any thick sections but must remember to leave escape holes for the uncured material.
SLA can deal with thick and thin sections without much trouble but due to the resolution of the printers any walls or other features should be at least 0.4mm wide and high.
You can download our SLA design tips here
To talk to us about your SLA for prototype or production get in touch with our team here