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An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

- Benjamin Franklin

3D Printing Technology: SLA

Knowledge 3D PRINTING    |    Author: Mech Solutions Ltd

Stereolithography (SLA or SL; also known as stereolithography apparatus, optical fabrication, photo-solidification, or resin printing) is a 3D process by which light causes chains of molecules to link, forming the polymer.

How does SLA work?

SLA printers work with a tube filled photopolymer and a platform that moves vertically.The machine starts making models layer by layer with the help of extremely accurate laser or UV lamp. When a layer solidifies platform is lifted (or lowered depending on the type of printer) of a brand new fine layer of polymer. Laser follows the path given by the software, which should move until the case is over. After that, the operator gently separates the subject from the working platform. Depending on the printer and type of polymer, it is possible that the case should be immersed in a bath with water so as to remove excess polymer to be treated in a UV oven to further solidified or that is immediately ready for further use.


  • Highest accuracy and smoothest surface finish of any shape of complex components. Small layer thickness from 0.02 mm gives a perfectly smooth surface and precision.
  • Speed: A new part can be designed and manufactured within an hour or a few hours depends on the size.
  • 3D printed prototypes and designs are strong enough to be machined and can also be used to make master patterns for injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding, and various metal casting processes
  • Wide variety of postprocessing options: Items produced with SLA technology of 3D printing are extremely high resolution and quality and often do not require any additional processing.But they can be polished and painted

Our Service Flow

  • Creating 3D model: since the Rapid prototyping (RP) is driven by 3D model with format of .sla, 3D CAD model must be created using the commercial CAD software like Solidworks, I-DEAS etc, or convert from 2D drawing to 3D model, or scanned with 3D scanner. In Mech Solutions, we can help customers designing CAD model, see details by clicking our CAD service.
  • Printing: Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process that works by focusing an ultraviolet (UV) laser on to a vat of photopolymer resin. With the help of computer aided manufacturing or computer aided design software (CAM/CAD), the UV laser is used to draw a pre-programmed design or shape on to the surface of the photopolymer vat. Because photopolymers are photosensitive under ultraviolet light, the resin is solidified and forms a single layer of the desired 3D object. This process is repeated for each layer of the design until the 3D object is complete. [1]
  • Post-processing: The prototype needs grinding, polishing, painting and heat treatment to further increase their strength.

Applicable Materials

Photopolymer is used in SLA technology



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