USA & Canada
USA & Canada

Stereolithography (SLA)

Parts On Demand

What Is Stereolithography?

Stereolithography (SLA) is the original 3D printing process still widely used today for its accuracy and speed. SLA is often used for prototypes, large concept models, form and fit models, investment casting patterns and master patterns.

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, SLA parts require some support material removal and UV curing, as well as hand finishing or other requested post-processing.


Advantages and Capabilities

Iterate Faster with Stereolithography

The design freedom and speed of Stereolithography makes design changes, iteration and validation easier than ever allowing you to get to market faster.

Dimensional Accuracy and Smooth Finishes

Stereolithography can create high dimensional accuracy parts with intricate designs and smooth surfaces. It also allows us to print watertight components in clear materials making it easy to test fluid flow found in product designs.

Virtually Limitless Part Size

At Stratasys Direct we can build extremely light, large-scale parts in record time with our exclusive hollow build method. Sparse fill is ideal for nonstructural appearance models. These parts build faster, weighs less and costs less than solid SLA models. They also have a better as-built surface than 10-20 pound foam. Contact an engineer now to learn more.

Variety of Material Properties to Meet Your Project’s Needs

Our wide range of Stereolithography photopolymers serve our customer’s requirements, from clear to strong, rigid plastics to special formulas for investment casting patterns.

Stereolithography Finishing Experts

Our finishing expertise take 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.


Materials for 3D Printing Parts with Stereoli -thography

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Somos® ProtoGen 18420

Highly accurate and good for most quick delivery prototyping applications

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Somos® WaterClear Ultra 10122

A clear and colorless material suited for lenses and see-through covers

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Somos® WaterShed XC 11122

Produces highly detailed parts with great clarity and water-resistance

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Somos® NeXt

Higher impact resistance than standard SL resins; Moisture resistance

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SC 1000P

Custom formulation ideal for low cost investment casting patterns

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Stereolithography Applications

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Evaluate your design with a physical model and get to market faster with SLA.

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Build light-weight, cosmetic versions of your product with our hollow build method.

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Our proprietary photopolymer and build style produces consistent patterns with better burnout.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Stereolithography

What geometries are best suited for SLA?

Stereolithography is ideal for parts with small features that require tighter dimensional tolerances and smooth finishes. SLA is ideal for small to large prototypes.

What level of detail can be obtained with SLA?

Stereolithography is available in a variety of resolutions. At its finest resolution, the layer thickness is 0.002” and the X/Y resolution is 0.005”.

What is the minimum wall thickness for SLA?

We recommend a minimum wall thickness of 1.5mm or 0.06” as smaller walls may not hold up when it comes to support removal or media blasting.

Can SLA-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, SLA is often used to make precise investment casting patterns to create end-use metal parts.

General questions? Engineering questions? Need help with your design?

Contact us