Stereolithography (SLA) produces parts, concept models, and prototypes through high-resolution and high-precision 3D printing. Without using tooling, the technology can rapidly prototype and create low-volume parts, ready for use in as little as one day. SLA allows businesses of every size to bring products to market faster and provides various high-quality surface finishes.
Our SLA 3D Printing Capabilities
At Chaparral Technologies, our SLA 3D printing services and service providers allow us to meet client specifications for parts and prototypes. Here are our current capabilities:
- Print pieces as large as 800 mm by 800 mm by 600 mm without bonding sections together.
- Clients can choose from HD or SD print quality for accurate details.
- Print layer heights between 50 and 200 µm.
- Print detailed feature sizes as thin as 0.2 mm on the X- and Y-axis, and as thin as 0.4 mm on the Z-axis.
- Tight tolerances are available at ±0.1 mm for sizes less than 100 mm and ±0.15% for sizes greater than 100 mm.
- Clients can select from a wide range of material options using our open resin system, which is compatible with 355 nm commercial stereolithography resins.
- The print process provides a smooth finish that reduces post-processing times by 50%.
- Printers come with a built-in camera so clients can monitor progress remotely.
- User-friendly Intuitive Titanium™ software optimizes build time and quality by using data from build history, part traceability, parameters, hardware usage.
What Is Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing?
SLA is a 3D printing technology that relies on ultraviolet (UV) light to solidify parts from a photopolymer resin. Using a computer-aided design file as a guide, the 3D printer works from the top to the bottom of the vat, solidifying layers of resin one by one. During the setup phase, technicians implement supports that are removable upon completion of the printing process. Upon removal from the vat, the parts are washed to remove any uncured excess resin material. A UV light oven finalizes the post-curing process to solidify the parts.
Clients may also add secondary finishing processes to complete the parts. These additional finishes include paint finishes, masking, texturing, and color matching.
Applications of Stereolithography 3D Printing
The following applications rely on SLA printing services to deliver high-definition 3D-printed parts:
- Direct digital manufacturing: The stereolithography process is ideal for printing specialized or custom parts in large volumes.
- Quick prototyping: The accuracy and speed of SLA enable rapid, functional prototyping from various materials.
- Concept modeling: Designers and engineers use stereolithography to create models for every stage of the production process.
- Replacing costly equipment: Across healthcare, jewelry, entertainment, and other industries, SLA printing is a cost-effective and time-efficient alternative to expensive pieces made with traditional methods.
Benefits of SLA 3D Printing
SLA 3D printing delivers a range of advantages over other manufacturing methods. Compared to traditional manufacturing methods, stereolithography is ideal for creating concept models and functional prototypes.
SLA printing provides the following benefits:
- Wide range of resin options
- High accuracy of complex and intricate designs
- High precision and tight tolerances
- Excellent surface finishes and additional processing
- Small to large part sizes
- Fast lead times and lower price point
Limitations of SLA 3D Printing
While SLA 3D printing usually delivers preferred results for many applications, stereolithography can present some limitations.
Some disadvantages of SLA 3D printing include:
- The initial investment in an SLA 3D printer can be high, and training is needed to operate the machinery.
- Resin parts can be too fragile for many end-use applications and have limited resistance to UV light.
- Producing parts through SLA printing can be time-consuming and may not be suited for large production volumes.
- SLA materials have limited strength and mechanical properties.
- Support structures may restrict design options.
Stereolithography 3D Printing Services From Chaparral Technologies
Stereolithography 3D printing is an accurate, low-cost, and rapid solution for manufacturing parts and models. At Chaparral Technologies, we have over 50 years of experience delivering manufacturing and engineering solutions to various industries. We represent manufacturers and connect them to businesses looking for services with the best fit. Contact us to find out if SLA 3D printing is right for you, or request a quote today.