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Stereolithography (SLA)

Stereolithography (SLA) is often considered the pioneer of the Rapid Prototyping industry, with the first commercial system introduced in 1988 by 3D Systems. The system consists of an Ultra-Violet Laser, a vat of photo-curable liquid resin, and a controlling system.

A platform is lowered into the resin (via an elevator system), such that the surface of the platform is a layer-thickness below the surface of the resin. The laser beam then traces the boundaries and fills in a two-dimensional cross section of the model, solidifying the resin wherever it touches. Once a layer is complete, the platform descends a layer thickness, resin flows over the first layer, and the next layer is built. This process continues until the model is complete.

Once the model is complete, the platform rises out of the vat and the excess resin is drained. The model is then removed from the platform, washed of excess resin, and then placed in a UV oven for a final curing. The stereolithography model is then finished by smoothing the "stair-steps."

Stereolithography Highlights

  • Excellent for Fit and Form Testing and Show Models.
  • Maximum dimensions for instant quotes: 25" x 25" x 21". Parts with larger dimensions are also available. Please contact your sales manager to discuss.
  • Stereolithography material choices include: Technician's Choice, Semi-Flexible, PE-Like (Somos 8110); Durable, PP-Like / ABS-Like (Accura 25 / Somos 9420); ABS-Like (Accura Xtreme / Accura 55 / RenShape 7811 / RenShape 7820 / Somos 18420); High-Impact ABS-Like (Somos NeXt); Rigid, PC-Like (Accura 60 / Somos 11122 / Accura ClearVue); High-Temp ABS-Like (Accura Bluestone); High Temp PC-Like, Rigid (Accura PEAK); High Resolution (ABS-Like / Durable / Rigid / Accura Xtreme).
  • Standard Stereolithography Tolerances: +/- 0.005" for the first inch, +/- 0.002” on every inch thereafter.
  • In the z height (vertical), standard tolerances of +/- 0.01" for the first inch, +/- 0.002” on every inch thereafter.
  • Stereolithography Layer Thickness: High Resolution: 0.002” - 0.004”; Standard Resolution: 0.005” - 0.006”.
  • SLA Finish Options: Standard, Primed, Painted, WaterClear.

Samples available upon request.

Nickel-Plated SLA

Nickel-plating provides added strength, waterproofing, and electrical conductivity to your stereolithography prototype.