SLA (stereolithography apparatus), one of the most widespread 3D printing or 3D molding techniques, is an additive manufacturing process that can print parts layer by layer. The printed parts are with small features, tight dimensional tolerance requirements, and a smooth print surface.
Via 3DSystems Viper SLA machines, our SLA technicians produce high-quality, high-detailed, and complex geometrical 3D moldings. We provide excellent customer service for 3D molding. Also, X Rapid Technologies offers all kinds of surface finishing to SLA rapid 3D prototyping parts, including painting, bead blasting, electroplating, etc.
Under the control of the control system, an ultraviolet laser beam emitted by helium-cadmium laser or argon ion laser scans the surface of the photosensitive resin point-by-point based on the layered cross-sectional information of the parts. So that the thin layer of resin in the scanned area cures due to photopolymerization reaction, forming a thin layer.
After a layer is cured, the working table is moved down a distance of a layer's thickness. So that a new layer of liquid resin goes onto the original cured resin surface, and the scraper scrapes the viscous resin surface flat. The next layer is scanned and processed. The newly cured layer is firmly bonded to the previous layer, and so on until the whole part is manufactured and 3D molding is finished.
Before the SLA printing begins, 3D molding should be programmed through CAD. The purpose is to convert the original design, determine the placement orientation, apply supports and slice the model using discrete procedures, design the scanning path, and generate data that will precisely control the movement of the laser scanner and the lifting table. In other words, it is to prepare data for printing.
The printing is performed on the light-curing equipment or a printer. Before printing, it is necessary to start the light-curing equipment beforehand to ensure that the resin material reaches a proper temperature. The laser needs a stabilization time after ignition. Once the equipment is running normally, we start the control system. The process of light curing of the stacked layers is done automatically under the system's control. And it stops automatically after all the stacked layers are done.
After the 3D molding is done, we remove it from the printer. Sanding is the most widely used finishing to remove possible layer marks. Other finishings like bead blasting, painting, and silk screening will be done per the customer's requirements.
SLA rapid 3D prototyping produces parts directly from a CAD file without any cutting tools and molds, thus shortening the manufacturing time.
Parts can be created with finely detailed features (thin walls, sharp corners, etc.) and complicated geometrical shapes via SLA rapid 3D prototyping.
Many particular materials can be used in SLA rapid 3D prototyping, such as transparent resin, casting resin, gum resin.
Photopolymer Resins such as Huntsman RenShape and SOMOS Next
In addition to SLA, SLS is another widely used 3D printing technique. Besides, there are many other rapid 3D prototyping services including CNC machining, vacuum casting, sheet metal fabrication, etc.
Yes. SLA rapid 3D prototyping parts can also be secondary treated. There may be layer marks if not post-treated. They can be removed by sanding. The finishings available to SLA 3D moldings include sanding, bead blasting, painting, dyeing, silk screening, electroplating, etc.
The general tolerance of SLA 3D moldings is +/- 0.1mm.
The costs of SLA 3D moldings are usually based on the weight of the raw material powders.
SLA 3D printing can be very fast. In case of urgent projects, it can be as quick as 1 day. Normally, it will take 2-3 days or more depending on the quantities and finishings.