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Stereolithography, or SLA 3D printing technology, is a popular additive manufacturing technique and sought-after service in Singapore and across the globe. It works by making use of light-reactive thermoset materials called “resin.” The technology uses a light source (a laser or projector) to cure and harden the photosensitive liquid resin into the desired 3D shape.
Patented in the 1980s, the technology is the first 3D printing technology ever developed. Until today, the veteran 3D printing technique remains to be one of the three most common 3D printing technologies along with FDM and SLS.
SLA 3D prints each layer from top to bottom, and the build platform lifts the model upwards, out of the resin bath.
Using any CAD software or data of a designed model, the 3D printable file format will be read as a digital model by our SLA printers. With data divided into layers, instructions will be sent to the printer, ensuring the optimisation of designs and the reduction in errors.
After the initial setup, the SLA printer can be left to run unattended till model completion.
Upon complete manufacturing of the prototype, industrial parts are rinsed and undergo a post-curing process to provide strength and stability.
SLA is among the most accurate forms of 3D printing. Key benefits of SLA include:
The fine laser beam used in our SLA printing services allows prototypes to obtain and smooth and realistic finish regardless of the different resins selected.
The small optical spot size of the laser or projector used in our SLA printers produce higher resolution prototypes due to its ability to use less force on the model.
With no prerequisites, moulds, and labour work, the stereolithography method not only allows for material conservation through varying print methods such as hollowing parts, but prototyping also saves costs during the mass production phase through the identification of model failures.
Given these benefits, amongst others, SLA is the preferred fabrication process to produce objects such as prototypes and moulds that can facilitate the production of structures, like jewellery, that have complex geometries.
With regards to compatible materials, this 3D printing technology is accompanied by different kinds of resin. These resin materials are able to print objects of varying physical and aesthetic properties. For example, Formlabs’ Tough Resin can be used for applications where a high degree of strength and mechanical resistance are needed.
Short for Fused Deposition Modeling, FDM is one of the most commonly adopted additive manufacturing technologies today due to its low cost and efficiency.
Great for products that require a smooth finish and high accuracy. SLA is also a popular choice for creating prototypes for clear parts, including bottles.
SLS is a powder-based 3D printing technology suitable for building parts that require high durability and complex geometries as it does not need any form of support.
Similar to SLS, Multi Jet Fusion also utilises powder to 3D print objects. One advantage is that parts produced by MJF are stronger and more precise compared to SLS.