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SLA Printing


Why SLA 3D printing is the popular choice for business

3D printing technology has come a long way in the past few years. It's now possible to print everything from prosthetic body parts to food items. But of all the 3D printing technologies available, SLA 3D printing is one of the most popular.

SLA PrintingSLA Printing

So what is SLA 3D printing? And why is it so popular? This blog post will discuss the basics of stereolithography and how it works. We'll also take a look at some of the benefits of using SLA 3D printers for your business.

What exactly is SLA printing

Stereolithography 3D, commonly known as SLA 3d printing process, is an additive manufacturing technology. It belongs to a family of additive manufacturing technologies known as vat photopolymerization, which uses light to cure liquid resin into hardened plastic.

The main physical differentiation between stereolithography and other 3D printing technologies lies in the arrangement of the core components, such as the light source, the build platform, and the resin tank.

A Brief overview of the History of Stereolithography

The process of SLA 3D printing, also known as stereolithography, first occurred in the 1970s when Japanese researcher Dr Hideo Kodama invented the modern layered approach. This type of printing uses ultraviolet light to cure photosensitive polymers.

In 1986, Chuck W. Hull coined the term stereolithography and patented the technology. He then went on to find 3D Systems in order to commercialize them.

Hull explained the concept of building three-dimensional objects by slowly layering material that can be solidified with ultraviolet light.

Though SLA 3D printing became popular relatively recently, it was not the first form of 3D printing to become mainstream.

At the end of the 2000s, as patents began to expire, The creation of small, desktop 3D printers made additive manufacturing accessible to more people. Fused deposition modeling (FDM), specifically, became popular among those who own desktop platforms.

FDM machines, while being the first 3D printing technology to be widely adopted and used, did not satisfy all professional needs due to a lack of repeatability. In professional settings, it's crucial to be precise, and in the dental industry specifically, using biocompatible materials is essential.

Also, for businesses like jewellery-making and millifluidics applications, being able to create fine details is key.

Stereolithography SLA How does it work?

The stereolithography process begins by curing a thin layer of photopolymer resin with an ultraviolet (UV) laser beam. The UV laser beam is directed at the build platform and traces the cross-sectional profile of the 3D model layer by layer. Each successive layer is cured until the entire 3D model is built.

SLA 3D printers are generally more expensive than other types of 3D printers because they require highly specialized equipment. However, the benefits of SLA 3D printing such as its high accuracy, resolution, and surface finish make it the preferred 3D printing technology for many applications.

Some benefits of SLA printing

There are many benefits of using SLA 3D printers for your business. One of the primary benefits is that stereolithography offers a high degree of accuracy. The machines are very precise, meaning you can produce parts and products with a high degree of detail.

Additionally, SLA 3D printers are very fast. They can produce parts and products quickly, which is important if you need to meet tight deadlines.

If you're looking for a 3D printing technology that offers high accuracy and speed, then stereolithography is a good option for your business. Additionally, the machines are relatively easy to use, which means that you can get started using them quickly.

10 benefits of SLA printers

SLA 3D printing technology has a number of benefits that make it an attractive option for businesses and individual users alike. Here are 10 reasons to consider using SLA 3D printing:

1. SLA 3D printers are relatively quick and easy to set up and use, making them ideal for businesses who want to get started with 3D printing with minimal hassle.

2. SLA 3D printers produce very high-quality prints, making them ideal for businesses that need to produce prototypes or other precision 3D models.

3. SLA 3D printers are typically less expensive than other 3D printers, making them a more affordable option for businesses on a tight budget.

4. SLA 3D printers use less energy than other 3D printing technologies, making them more environmentally friendly.

5. SLA 3D prints are typically stronger and more durable than those made with other 3D printing technologies, making them ideal for applications where strength and durability are important.

6. SLA 3D prints can be made with a wide range of materials, and standard resins, for general prototyping, making them suitable for a variety of applications.

7. SLA 3D printers are typically smaller and more compact than other 3D printers, making them easier to store and transport.

8. SLA 3D prints typically have a smooth surface finish than those made with other 3D printing technologies, making them more visually appealing.

9. SLA 3D printers typically have a shorter turnaround time than other 3D printers, making them ideal for businesses that need to produce 3D prints quickly.

10. SLA 3D printing technology is continually improving, making it a good long-term investment for businesses who want to stay ahead of the curve.

Why is SLA 3D printing so popular?

There are many reasons why SLA 3D printing is so popular. One reason is that it offers a high level of accuracy and detail. Additionally, SLA 3D printers are relatively fast and can produce parts in large quantities. Finally, the cost of SLA 3D printers has decreased significantly in recent years, making them more affordable for businesses and individual consumers.

SLA 3D printing technology has a wide range of applications, from the creation of prototypes to the production of final parts for use in end products.

This versatility makes SLA 3D printers an attractive option for businesses and individuals alike. Additionally, advances in 3D printing technology have made it possible to create ever-more intricate and detailed parts, further increasing the popularity of SLA 3D printing.

The bottom line is that SLA 3D printing is popular because it is accurate, fast, versatile, and affordable. 3D printing technology has revolutionized manufacturing and will continue to do so for years to come.

Businesses and individuals alike are benefiting from the 3D printing revolution, and SLA 3D printing is leading the way.

Accuracy and Precision

Accuracy and precision of SLA 3d printing is a type of additive manufacturing process technology that uses a laser to cure photosensitive resin into 3D shapes. SLA 3D printers are known for their high accuracy and precision, making them ideal for prototyping and other applications requiring tight tolerances.

Despite its advantages, SLA 3D printing is not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is achieving consistent accuracy and precision from print to print. This can be difficult to achieve due to the nature of the technology, as well as the materials used. In this article, we will take a look at some of the factors that can affect accuracy and precision in SLA 3d printing, as well as some tips on how to overcome these challenges.

One of the biggest factors affecting accuracy and precision in SLA 3D printing is the type of materials used. Different materials have different shrink rates, which can lead to inaccuracies in the final print. In addition, some materials are more difficult to cure than others, which can also lead to inconsistencies.

To overcome this challenge, it is important to use materials that have been specifically designed for 3D printing, such as those from Formlabs.

Another factor that can affect accuracy and precision in SLA 3D printing is the build platform. The build platform is where the 3D object is built, and it can be made from a variety of materials, and standard resins, for general prototyping.

Finally, the accuracy and precision of SLA 3D printing can also be affected by the printer itself. Some 3D printers are more accurate than others, and it is important to select a printer that is capable of meeting your tolerances.

In addition, some 3D printers are better suited for certain materials than others. For example, FFF 3D printers are typically better at printing with ABS plastic, while SLA 3D printers are better suited for printing with resin.

Despite the challenges, accuracy and precision in SLA 3D printing can be achieved with the right materials and printer. By using materials specifically designed for 3D printing and selecting a printer that is well-suited to your needs, you can produce high-quality 3D prints with tight tolerances.

Materials used for SLA printing

SLA printing
image from [https://www.medicaldesignandoutsourcing.com/formlabs-announces-new-biocompatible-medical-grade-resins/]

SLA 3D printers use a range of different materials.

Our range of resins offers something for everyone; from general prototyping to medical and dental applications, as well as speciality castable options. For those looking beyond the ordinary in print materials, our biomaterials are prepared using aqueous solutions of both synthetic polymers or biological components such as gelatin which provide unique biocompatibility ratings and other desirable properties of dextran, or hyaluronic acid.The material that is used for SLA 3D printing will also affect the properties of the final 3D printed object.

When choosing a material for SLA 3D printing, it is important to consider the properties that are required for the final 3D printed object. Some materials may be better suited for certain applications than others. It is also important to consider the cost of the material, as some materials can be quite expensive.

The print parameters of SLA

image from [www.re-online.com]

The print parameters for SLA systems are fixed by the manufacturer but can never be modified. The only input is layer height if the part orientation is determined.

Layer height: Range from 25 to 100 micrometres. Lower layer height captures curved geometries more accurately, but increases construction times and costs, and also increases the likelihood of failed printing.

A 100-milli-thick layer can fit in the most commonly applied applications. Build size: This is another parameter important to designers. Builds are dependent upon the type of SLA equipment. There are two primary configuration types on SLA machines - the downward and bottom-up directions


What's the difference between desktop (prototyping) and industrial 3D printers?

SLA systems are generally used for desktops and industrial printers. Often SLA machine manufacture produces more precise parts than its desktop counterpart and is more precise on a smaller scale and often uses higher-end materials.

Desktop SLAs can achieve tolerances between 200 and 250 nanoseconds but industrial printers can achieve tolerances under 30 nanoseconds. The advantage of industrial SLA over desktop machines is the variety of products that can be easily printed for industrial printing.

What is the difference between FDM and SLA?

Sla , sls. fdm
image from [https://www.liqcreate.com/supportarticles/properties-fdm-sls-resin/]

SLA 3D printing is generally faster than FDM printing. Because laser surfaces are small it can take longer to construct each layer. FDM allows for varying the height of the layers, allowing for a much faster and more flexible 3D printing process. However, the SLA prints are smoother.

SLA 3D printing, or stereolithography, is a type of 3D printing that uses a laser to cure resin into the desired shape. This technology was invented in the 1980s and has been commonly used in industrial applications since then.

FDM 3D printing, or fused deposition modeling FDM, is a type of 3D printing that uses a filament of plastic or metal to create the desired shape. This technology was invented in the late 1990s and has become more popular in recent years due to its affordability and ease of use.

SLA 3D printing is generally more accurate and produces smoother results than FDM 3D printing. However, SLA 3D printers are also more expensive and require more experience to operate.

What is better SLA or SLS?

SLA is a better resolution than SSL. Our SLA 3D printer services offer 3 resolutions enabling you to balance detail and finishing quality with the cost. Tolerance – SLA can achieve tightened tolerances in comparison with SLS.

Is stereolithography the same as 3D printing?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. 3D printing is a broad term that encompasses many different technologies and processes, one of which is stereolithography (SLA). SLA is a specific type of 3D printing technology that uses a photochemical process to create 3D objects. So while all SLA printers are 3D printers, not all 3D printers are SLA printers.

The main difference between SLA and other 3D printing technologies is the way in which the object is created. In an SLA printer, a laser is used to cure (harden) a photopolymer resin, layer by layer, until the desired 3D object is created. In other 3D printing technologies, such as fused deposition modeling (FDM), an object is built up by depositing material, layer by layer.

SLA 3D printing is generally considered to be a more accurate process than FDM 3D printing, and it can produce smoother surfaces. However, SLA 3D printers are typically more expensive than FDM 3D printers, and the materials used in SLA 3D printing (resins) can be more expensive than the materials used in FDM 3D printing (filaments).

So, to answer the question, stereolithography is a type of 3D printing, but not all 3D printing is stereolithography.

What is the principle of stereolithography?

The fundamental method used by stereolithography consists of a selective cure of photopolymer by ultraviolet light. The machine's building room provides the formation of a small layer of liquid resin (typically 50 – 1000 micron depths). On this layer, the laser creates patterns which cure the form in a first-layer model.


SLA printers are popular because they produce high-quality prints with a very low failure rate. If you're looking for a 3D printer that can handle the most delicate and intricate details, then an SLA printer is the right choice for your business. With such a wide range of applications and industries that can benefit from using SLA technology, it's no wonder this type of 3D printing is so popular.

Author Natalia Zalikowska

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