Your Guide to SLA 3D Rapid Prototyping | 3D2Go Philippines

Your Ultimate Guide About SLA 3D Rapid Prototyping

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Your Ultimate Guide About SLA 3D Rapid Prototyping
A blog banner by 3D2GO Philippines titled Your Ultimate Guide About SLA 3D Rapid Prototyping

All the factors you need to know about 3D rapid prototyping


3D rapid prototyping improved product development in the past decades. Now that the competition has turned which product will hit the market shelves. That is why 3D printing and prototyping has helped a lot of businesses.

For such purposes, SLA rapid prototyping is the most widely-used way to create prototypes to help improve the whole product development processes


SLA Rapid Prototyping Process


SLA rapid prototyping can produce a high quality, accurate, and detailed polymer parts. It uses a low power and highly focused UV laser to trace out cross-sections of a 3D object in a vat of liquid photosensitive polymer.

This is mostly used in 3D printing and prototyping and often used early in the product development process as concept or one-off presentation  as models. It can produce parts with good quality and smooth surface finish. Not to mention excellent optical clarity, high accuracy and thin, straight, vertical walls.


3 Process Benefits of SLA Rapid Prototyping


3D printing and prototyping is a vital process in the overall product design and development cycle. With the use of SLA rapid prototyping it can help your products reach the market fast. 

1. Speed

For 3D rapid prototyping, SLA is the most popular prototyping process among product designers and design engineers. It can help your designs get off from the drawing board. Also SLA models can be created overnight but it still depends on the exact specifications.

2. Cost effective for low volume productions

SLA rapid prototyping is perfect for small numbers and low volume production. Which it can produce quickly and easily.

3. High tolerance

This is perfect if you want to produce parts that follow very specific requirements. This allows more freedom for designers to achieve their concept designs as close as possible.


When should you use SLA for 3D printing and prototyping


As what we’ve discussed above, this is perfect for low or single run production of prototype parts. This is your choice for pre-production applications such as:

  • Concept models
  • Presentation models
  • Investment castings
  • Master patterns
  • Visual tests
  • Marketing validation
  • Ergonomic tests


It provides the following part properties:

  • High temperature resistance
  • Moisture resistant
  • Clear, white or translucent and even coloured output
  • Excellent surface finish
  • Various range of model sizes


Advantages and Limitations of SLA Rapid Prototyping


Like any other things in 3D printing and prototyping, this technique has its advantages and limitations. These are the following:

Advantages Limitations
  • It can produce parts with high precision and fine detail. This is due to the great thinness of each layer applied in SLA.
  • This helps you to get a prototype with realistic finish and even with complex geometric shapes.
  • Parts made using SLA has a good functional surface quality
  • Using SLA it is good to create small parts that is high definition and even with larger parts up to 2 meters in size and can still retain high precision
  • Using SLA you can get your parts in about two days, depending on the complexity of your design. 
  • It is also cost effective because it does not require a casting mold
  • SLA uses resins and thus its output are more fragile and thus not suitable for mechanical testing.
  • While new 3D printers pop up left and right, it is also costly and often difficult to operate for a single run of production.
  • This is not advisable for mass production
  • Physical and chemical changes is involved during the forming process, thus it needs support or the product will get deformed
  • Equipment operation maintenance is costly, liquid resin materials and lasers are expensive and may require regular adjustments
  • Limited types of materials to use such as photosensitive liquid resin
  • It materials has a certain smell and toxicity and needs protection from light


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3 Things to Consider When You Choose SLA For Your 3D Rapid Prototyping


SLA is a great technique for your 3D printing and prototyping efforts. In order to maximize its potential, you have to consider these three factors.

1. Your end product

The end-goal of your 3D printing and prototyping efforts should be your final product’s application. If you want to replicate your final product’s aesthetic looks, you may need to use a 3D rapid prototyping that can produce output with a finer resolution. 

However, if you want your prototype to function exactly as your end-product will, you have to choose a 3D rapid prototyping that offers robust materials and ideal for high tolerances for mechanical testing.

2. 3D printing technology

SLA is indeed the preferred technique when it comes to 3D printing and prototyping. However, you must remember that each technique has their own unique build styles, advantages and limitations. 

Your preferred 3D printing technique depends on what your requirements are. SLA is perfect for aesthetic prototyping. FDM is perfect for realistic simulations of your product’s mechanical function. It can also produce strong and durable parts with engineering-grade thermoplastics. 

3. Design guidelines and file formats

3D printing and prototyping uses .stl file formats for set up and builds. Most 3D CAD software can process such file formats. That is why you have to ensure your files are in .stl format.

You must remember that .stl files with multiple shells and unshared edges may cause uneven surfaces. 3D printing and prototyping involves free-form production systems. That is why you have to account for slight dimensional variance such as interference fits and line to line designs. 


3D2GO Provides 3D Rapid Prototyping Services


As a pioneer of 3D printing and other related services, we use the best 3D printing techniques including SLA printing. We offer our services to various industries to help them improve their product development cycles.

3D2GO Philippines offers 3D printing, 3D scanning, 3D designing, 3D rapid prototyping, and 3D reverse engineering. We continuously serve various consumers from B2C and B2B areas. 

Also, we are the official regional distributors of these 3D printers if you want to get your own to print any of your projects. 

Contact us today and let us help to streamline your product development cycles.