The Complete Guide to 3D Printing Plastic Parts with Stereolithography
What Is Stereolithography?
Stereolithography (SL, SLA) is the original 3D printing process still widely used today for its accuracy and speed.
Fast build and delivery reduces the design, engineering and test phases of product development and allows you to get to market faster.
Stereolithography is often used for prototypes, master patterns or large concept models, form and fit prototypes and investment casting patterns.
SL offers virtually limitless part size; we can seamlessly bond individual sections into industrial sized patterns.
ID-Light with Stereolithography
Build extremely light, large-scale parts in record time with our exclusive hollow build method, ID-Light.
Ideal for nonstructural appearance models, ID-Light builds faster, weighs less and costs less than solid SL models.
Parts built with ID-Light are lighter and have a better as-built surface than 10-20 pound foam.
Iterate Faster with Stereolithography
The design freedom and speed of Stereolithography makes design changes, iteration and validation easier than ever.
How Does Stereolithography Work?
Stereolithography builds parts with a precise UV laser to cure and solidify thin layers of a photo-reactive resin.
Post-build, SL parts require some support material removal and UV curing, as well as hand finishing or other requested post-processing.
Stereolithography Finishing Experts
Our finishing expertise takes your 3D printed prototype and transforms it into a replica of your finished product. Any surface look is achievable with our expert finishers.
Custom finishing, texture, color, artwork, EMI/RFI shielding, plating and other functional coatings can bring additional value to prototyping and models.
Our wide range of Stereolithography photopolymers serve our customer’s requirements, from clear to strong, rigid plastics to special formulas for investment casting patterns.
Materials for 3D Printing Parts with Stereolithography
Look to SL for excellent dimensional tolerances, smooth surfaces and fine feature details. Mimic properties of ABS, polycarbonate and polypropylene in layers as low as 0.002”.
|Highly accurate and good for most quick delivery prototyping applications||
|A clear and colorless material suited for lenses and see-through covers||
|Produces highly detailed parts with great clarity and water-resistance||
|Higher impact resistance than standard SL resins; Moisture resistance||
|Custom formulation ideal for low cost investment casting patterns||
|Antimony free formulation for investment casting patterns. Use when casting reactive metal alloys where antimony may contaminate the cast metallurgical properties.||
Get a Quote
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Get Design Services
Need some assistance with your 3D design? Our design services team offers a suite of solutions, including file creation and file repair.Get Design Services
Use Material Wizard
Want to compare SL material properties? Use our material wizard to find out which materials meet your part's requirements.Use Material Wizard
Evaluate your design with a physical model and get to market faster with SL.
Build light-weight, cosmetic versions of your product with our hollow build method.
Investment Casting Patterns
Our proprietary photopolymer and build style produces consistent patterns with better burnout.
Stereolithography Parts from 3D Printing Pioneers
From the beginning of 3D printing was Stereolithography, and long with it, our team of experts, learning what it takes for amazing parts.
Our responsive team of engineers have worked tirelessly, testing and validate Stereolithography materials and processes for nearly 30 years.
With the largest capacity of SL in North America, and engineers ready to assist with every step of your project, we’ll ensure amazing precise SL parts.
Proprietary Stereolithography Techniques
Whatever your project need, from investment casting patterns to concept models, we won’t rest until your requirements are met.
3D Printing and FoundriesMore than 20 years with experience has led us to develop key solutions for our foundry customers.
More than 20 years with experience has led us to develop key solutions for our foundry customers.Read the Article
Investment Casting Design GuidelinesTake advantage of the design freedom of 3D printed investment casting patterns.
Take advantage of the design freedom of 3D printed investment casting patterns.Download the Design Guidelines
Frequently Asked Questions About Stereolithography
What level of detail can be obtained with SL?
Stereolithography is available in a variety of resolutions. At its finest 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.