Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing Technology

At a Glance

Lifecycle

Lead Time

Materials

Resolution

Short production runs, Prototyping
As fast as 3 days
0.1 mm

About the Process

Stereolithography, or SLA, is a 3D printing technology known for achieving highly detailed and functionally accurate parts. The technology utilizes a mirror that is programmed to direct an ultraviolet laser to draw and cure a part’s cross-section onto a vat of photopolymer resin. After each layer, the build platform lowers and a recouter blade wipes over a new layer of material on the top of the tank.

Once the part is complete, it is removed from the build chamber, cleaned of support and excess resin (typically using isopropyl alcohol), and then placed in a UV oven for further curing. This ensures the part reaches its optimal physical properties.

Machines

Our global manufacturing ecosystem includes manufacturing partners with 3D Systems professional grade ProJet printers that are capable of very precise and highly detailed printing. The main sections of the machine include the build chamber and the material chamber below. The build bed can be removed to carefully detach the printed part and clean it of any remaining support material.

ProJet 6000 HD

ProJet 7000

Build Bed Size [x, y, z]

254 x 254 x 254 mm
381 x 381 x 254 mm

Value

$185,000
$250,000

Additional Machine Information

3D Systems ProJet 6000 HD

3D Systems ProJet 7000 HD

Materials

SLA 3d printing material accura 25

Accura 25

Great for snap-fit assemblies and urethane casting master patterns.
SLA 3d printing material accura clearvue

Accura ClearVue

Produces highly aesthetic and optically clear parts.

Design Recommendations

Max Part Size [x, y, z]

Gaps for Mating Parts

Tolerance

Min Wall Thickness

Min Hole Diameter

10 x 10 x 10 inches
(254 x 254 x 254 mm)
0.5 mm between parts that need to be assembled
± 0.1mm
1.0 mm for production, 1.5 mm for consistent measurement or mechanical properties
0.5mm

Note that any surface in contact with support will have small nubs in the final product as a result of support removal. To optimize the overall surface smoothness of the part, avoid extra overhangs, steep slopes, or large flat planes that may add more structural support.

Cost Saving Tip

Parts can be designed hollow to reduce material usage. Make sure to design a drainage hole that’s at least 4mm in diameter to allow removal of trapped resin. Surrounding walls should be at least 2mm thick to ensure a successful print.

Related Resources

3D printing material datasheet