Vat Photopolymerization

(Stereolithography, SL, DLP, 3SP, CLIP, DLS)

3Diligent's Vat Photopolymerization Service is capable of delivering highly accurate Stereolithography (SLA) and Digital Light Processing (DLP) parts with injection-molding caliber surface finishes to you rapidly and at great prices.   Have a project that fits that bill?  Submit an RFQ through our secure portal or email us with any questions about your project needs.  

 

Process Overview

Vat photopolymerization builds models by selectively curing layers of photosensitive polymer resin with a light source. Layer by layer, the cured part either descends into or ascends from the vat of photosensitive liquid resin which becomes solid when exposed to high energy light. Parts built in this process are highly accurate and ship quickly but tend to be more expensive and prone to becoming increasingly brittle over time.

Branded Processes (Also Known As)

  • Stereolithography (SL, SLA)
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  • Selectively Spin, Scan, and Photocure (3SP)
  • Continuous Light Interface Process (CLIP)
  • Digital Light Synthesis (DLS)

Process At A Glance

Common Materials

ABS-like Resin, PPE-like Resin, Glass-Filled Nylon-like Resin

Standard Tolerance

.004" (0.100mm)

Stock Surface Finish

40-400 µin Ra

Lead Time

2-5 Business Days

Maximum Size

36"x36"x36" TBD

Minimum Layer Thickness

.001" (.025mm)

Minimum Feature Size

0.004" (0.1mm)

Minimum Wall Thickness

0.04" (1mm)

Stereolithography prints can be quite clear as printed.  An additional clear coat can be added for further clarity.
Stereolithography prints can be quite clear as printed. An additional clear coat can be added for further clarity.

Advantages

  • High Detail Accuracy - 0.004" typical tolerance
  • Smooth Stock Finish - High detail accuracy allows for surface finish down to 40 µin Ra with little to no post-processing
  • Intricate Geometry - High accuracy allows for complex structures that are impossible with traditional manufacturing
  • Short Lead Times - SLA parts will typically ship in 2-5 business days
  • Material Selection - Choose from over 30 different materials with a range of properties

Limitations

  • Support Structures - Downward facing surfaces and stalactites can require support structures which increase bid amounts and turnaround time.
  • Low Durability - Photopolymers weaken over time especially when exposed to sunlight
  • Hollow Cavities - Internal hollow cavities need to be perforated to drain unused material
SLA, somos next
This stereolithography print in Somos Next ABS-like material shows how vat photopolymerization 3D printing produces parts with surface finishes closely resembling injection molded parts

Example Machines

  • 3D Systems iPro 9000 XL
  • 3D Systems ProJet 6000 HD
  • 3D Systems ProJet 7000
  • 3D Systems ProJet 7000 HD
  • 3D Systems ProX 800
  • 3D Systems ProX 950
  • 3D Systems SLA 5000
  • 3D Systems Viper Si2
  • B9 Creator
  • Carbon M1
  • Carbon M2
  • Envisiontec Aureus
  • Envisiontec DDDP
  • Envisiontec Micro EDU
  • Envisiontec Micro Plus Advantage
  • Envisiontec Perfactory III SXGA+
  • Envisiontec Ultra 3SP
  • Envisiontec Vector 3SP
  • Envisiontec Vida
  • Form Labs Form 1+
  • Form Labs Form 2
  • Futur3D 3Dwarf Precision
  • Futur3D DWARF+
  • RapidShape C30
  • Z-Rapid SLA500
3D Systems ProJet 7000 Stereolithography Printer.  Photo Credit: 3D Systems
3D Systems ProJet 7000 Stereolithography Printer. Photo Credit: 3D Systems

Example Materials

  • ABS 3SP Flex
  • ABS Flex Series
  • ABS Tough
  • Accura 25 Plastic
  • Accura 55 Plastic
  • Accura 60 Plastic
  • Accura Bluestone Plastic (UV & Thermal Postcure 120°C)
  • Accura CastPro Free (SL 7800)
  • Accura ClearVue Free (SL 7870)
  • Accura ClearVue Material
  • Accura Xtreme Plastic
  • Acrylic (PMMA)
  • B9R-1 Black
  • B9R-1 Cherry
  • B9R-1 Red
  • Clear Guide
  • Cyanate Ester (CE)
  • E-Appliance
  • E-Denstone Tough
  • E-Dent
  • E-Guard
  • EnvisionTEC R5 Gray (ABS)
  • E-Partial
  • E-Shell 200 Series
  • E-Shell 300 Series
  • E-Shell 500 Series
  • E-Tool
  • Formlabs Black
  • Formlabs Black and Formlabs Clear
  • Formlabs Castable
  • Formlabs Clear
  • Formlabs Dental SG
  • Formlabs Flexible
  • Formlabs Tough
  • Formlabs White
  • FPU
  • HIPS
  • LS600
  • Ortho Tough (Uncured)
  • Perfactory E-Dentstone
  • Perfactory HTM140
  • Polyethylene (Somos 8120)
  • Press-E-Cast
  • R5 Gray
  • Protogen 18420
  • RC31
  • Resin 1L
  • Rigid Polyurethane (RPU)
  • Somos NeXt
  • Somos WaterShed XC 11122 (UV Postcure)
  • TCP
  • VisiJet M3 Black
  • VisiJet SL Clear
  • VisiJet SL Flex
  • VisiJet SL Impact

Vat Photopolymerization SLA Clear