Stereolithography (often called SLA or SL) rapidly builds components using a precise UV laser to cure and solidify thin layers of a photo-reactive resin. One of the most accurate 3D printing technologies, SL is ideal for concept models, form and fit studies, and investment casting patterns. We offer a suite of professional finishing options to achieve a high-quality surface finish. In addition, we can join multiple sections of a part design quickly and seamlessly to create large parts and prototypes.
Benefits of Stereolithography
Don’t sacrifice accuracy for size. Stereolithography offers virtually limitless part size. We will seamlessly bond individual sections into industrial sized patterns.
Your parts will be delivered on time and ready for immediate integration with our complete suite of finishing services. Backed by expert painters and technicians with years of experience, we offer hand finishing, texture, non-cosmetic and cosmetic paint, as well as EMI and RFI shielding and plating options.
Stereolithography (SL) Applications
SL is often used for prototypes or large concept models that require coatings or finished surfaces and smooth master patterns.
- Common applications include:
- Anatomical models
- Lightweight concept models
- Architectural models
- Urethane casting patterns
- Large investment cast patterns
Investment Casting Patterns (Similar to the QuickCast process)
Successful investment casting depends on the prompt delivery of high-quality patterns with clean burnout properties. We have developed a proprietary photopolymer combined with a build style that produces mostly hollow, accurate, strong, aerated and consistent patterns that result in better burnout and more lightweight patterns. Our finishing options are matched to each foundry’s specifications. SL investment cast patterns produce fully drained, completely sealed, and significantly lighter patterns when compared to wax. Learn more about investment casting patterns
Build extremely light, large-scale parts in record time with Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s exclusive ID-Light process, a proprietary sparse-fill approach. Ideal for concept modeling, prototyping, and creating master patterns, ID-Light is available in both SL and FDM technologies. ID-Light FDM is best for strength, while ID-Light SL is best for cosmetic applications. SL ID-Light builds with SC 1000. Learn more about ID-Light
See how doctors at the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute used Stereolithography to increase surgery success rate.READ THE STORY
Look to SL to mimic properties of ABS, polycarbonate, and polypropylene in layers as thin as 0.002”. We have a wide range of resins for every prototyping need – from clear to strong, rigid plastics and a resin specifically formulated for investment casting.SEE STEREOLITHOGRAPHY MATERIAL OPTIONS
Stereolithography: Frequently Asked Questions
- What level of detail can be obtained with SL?
- Stereolithography is available in a variety of resolutions. At its highest resolution, the layer thickness is 0.002” and the X/Y resolution is 0.004”.
- Can SL-made components function as production parts?
- Stereolithography is not generally considered suitable for production applications because the photo-reactive resins used in the process do not remain stable under long exposure to UV light. However, SL is often used to make precise investment casting patterns to create end-use metal parts.