Stereolithography (SLA; also known as solid free-form fabrication and solid imaging) is another additive manufacturing process or 3D-Printing technology used for producing fabricated three dimensional solid objects from digital models on a 3D-Printer.
Sterolithography has become a cornerstone for the rapid prototyping industry. SLA has been around for over several decades now. Parts larger than platform size can be cut and bonded back as one piece using the same material for a seamless and strong bond. SLA's can be used not only to check fit and form, but for visual marketing and tradeshow content, also. SLA's can be primed and painted to match any Pantone color or PMS color with texture for photo-shoots, tradeshow samples, or marketing testing. A prototype model can also be color tinted in a transparent look for last minute ideas.
- Pattern Masters
- Light Duty Functional Prototypes
- Materials – VisiJet SL Clear and Impact
- Supper Fine Detail and Smooth Surface Finishing
- Dimensional Accuracy Within Thousandths of An Inch
- Finished Models for Presentation or Cosmetic Applications
For other surface finishes, the process is not limited. SLA's can be chrome plated, vacuum plated, or plated with nickel, zinc, or copper for product design decisions. Customized texture can be added to imitate leather, wood grain, or an EDM finish.
Sterolithography material properties have changed. Now there are options depending on the application engineer requirements. The options in resin are standard, flexible, water tight, or high temperature resin up to 400 degree°F. For increased functional uses on models, they can be CNC machined, drilled, tapped, and inserts can be added.
Standard Sterolithography material components, under the right circumstances, have been tested to run at 15,000 RPM¹s. SLA's are also used daily as master patterns for more functional prototypes. SLA patterns are supplied for RTV - room temperature vulcanizing molding to create parts from cast urethane. SLA patterns are also used in creating epoxy tooling for injection molded plastic or injected wax.
For metals, SLA's are used as patterns in RPM - rubber plaster molding to produce non-ferrous metals such as aluminum or zinc. Also, a sparse model with an inner honeycomb pattern can also be made. These type of models are used as patterns for investment casting or the loss wax method. Plain SLA patterns can also be used in sand casting and in vacuum forming. SLA cores and cavities have even been used in plastic injection molding and blow molding. This is called bridge tooling.
For more information about custom plastic components or any of our other capabilities please call us at (612) 432-4303. Let us quote your next pending project.