AM Photopolymer Based Technologies Comparison

Table of Contents

AM Photopolymer Based Technologies Comparison

Stereolithography vs. Digital Light Processing vs. Hybrid PhotoSynthesis

Additive manufacturing photopolymer technologies are leading a revolution, offering incredible capabilities. These cutting-edge technologies, including stereolithography, digital light processing, and hybrid photosynthesis, have unlocked new possibilities for creating innovative and intricate shapes previously impossible with traditional manufacturing methods. With exceptional accuracy, flexibility, and speed, these additive manufacturing photopolymer technologies are reshaping the manufacturing and design world. Whether it’s crafting detailed molds, functional prototypes, or highly intricate models, these technologies are redefining the boundaries of what’s achievable, making the impossible within reach. In conclusion, the unparalleled capabilities of additive manufacturing photopolymer technologies provide limitless opportunities for creativity, innovation, and efficiency in the manufacturing world.

Stereolithography
Prototek Capabilities_Stereolithography

Stratasys’s and 3D System’s stereolithography is an impressive photopolymer-based additive manufacturing process that uses advanced technology to create detailed 3D objects. By selectively curing liquid resin with a laser, this innovative process brings your creative vision to life with precision and accuracy. Its capability to produce complex shapes and designs makes stereolithography the future of manufacturing. If you need a reliable and highly effective way to create high-quality 3D objects, stereolithography is the ultimate solution for all your additive manufacturing needs.

Digital Light Processing
Prototek Capabilities_Digital Light Processing

Photopolymer-based technology: Carbon’s digital light processing is an advanced additive manufacturing technique that uses light-sensitive resins to produce detailed, high-resolution parts. This process involves curing the resin layer by layer using a light projector, allowing for the creation of intricate shapes with exceptional accuracy and surface finish. Carbon offers 2-part resins that undergo a thermal post-bake to achieve production-grade materials. Prototek’s cutting-edge DLP capabilities provide unmatched precision and efficiency for industrial applications.

Hybrid PhotoSynthesis
Prototek Capabilities_Hybrid PhotoSynthesis

Axtra’s Hybrid PhotoSynthesis is an innovative technology that enables the creation of complex, high-precision parts with exceptional surface finishes by combining a laser (such as stereolithography) and a light projector (such as digital light processing), making it an ideal solution for diverse manufacturing applications.

Comparing these photopolymer based technologies.

Stereolithography, digital light processing, and hybrid photosynthesis are exceptional examples of photopolymer-based manufacturing technologies. These techniques have become the new frontiers of modern manufacturing, thanks to their ability to create complex designs with unprecedented accuracy and precision.

Stereolithography entails printing a 3D object layer by layer using an ultraviolet laser. Digital light processing uses a digital light projector to cure liquid resin, resulting in a highly detailed 3D object. Lastly, hybrid photosynthesis combines the strengths of these two technologies to streamline the process of producing high-quality prototype models.

These photopolymer-based manufacturing technologies have unlocked opportunities across various industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and dental. Their capacity to produce intricate designs has revolutionized manufacturing, empowering manufacturers to create products with speed, accuracy, and consistency.

In summary, the future of manufacturing rests in the capabilities of photopolymer-based manufacturing technologies such as stereolithography, digital light processing, and hybrid photosynthesis. As these technologies evolve, we can anticipate even more remarkable applications that could transform how we produce and create products.

Photopolymer Based Technologies in a Glance

Stereolithography
What is Stereolithography - A Collage of Photopolymer Based Technology Stereolithography printer SLA

OEM: 3D Systems & Stratasys

Max Build Area: 31 x 31 x 23 in

Lead Time: 1 – 2 Days

Materials: 

Accura®: 25, 60, ClearVue, ABS Black, AMX Black, AMX Tough FR V0 Black, SL 5530, Xtreme, Xtreme White 200

Somos®: BioClear, EvoLVe, PerFORM, ProtoTherm, Taurus, WaterClear Ultra 10122, WaterShed Black, WaterShed XC 11222

Tolerances: First inch ± 0.005 in and additional inches ± 0.0015 in/in

Layer Thickness: Normal resolution 0.004 in and minimum feature size 0.012 in. High-resolution 0.002 in and minimum feature 0.006 in (feature size depends on geometry).

Digital Light Processing
AM Photopolymer Based Technology | Digital Light Processing (DLP)

OEM: Carbon

Max Build Area: 7.4 x 4.6 x 12.8 in

Lead Time: 1 – 2 Days

Materials: EPU 40 & 41, EPX 82 & 86FR, FPU 50, LOCTITE® 3D IND405 Clear, MPU 100, RPU 70 & 130, SIL 30, UMA 90

Tolerances: UMA 90 first inch ± 0.005 in additional inches ± 0.002 in/in. Two-part engineering materials depend on the geometries.

Layer Thickness: Standard resolution 0.004 in, fine resolution 0.002 in, and ultra-fine resolution 0.001 in.

Hybrid PhotoSynthesis
Photopolymer Based Technology Hybrid Photosynthesis - Axtra Lumia

OEM: Axtra3D

Max Build Area: 9.5 x 5.25 x 19.25 in

Lead Times: 3 – 5 Days

Materials: LOCTITE® 3D 3843, S-Pro | Spot A, Ultracur3D 3280

Tolerances: First inch ± 0.005 in and additional inches ± 0.0015 in/in.

Layer Thickness: Standard resolution 0.004 in and fine resolution 0.002 in.

Stereolithography
Digital Light Processing
Hybrid PhotoSynthesis
What is Stereolithography - A Collage of Photopolymer Based Technology Stereolithography printer SLA
AM Photopolymer Based Technology | Digital Light Processing (DLP)
Photopolymer Based Technology Hybrid Photosynthesis - Axtra Lumia

OEM

3D Systems & Stratasys

Carbon

Axtra3D

Max Build Area

31 x 31 x 23 in

7.4 x 4.6 x 12.8 in

9.5 x 5.25 x 19.25 in

Lead Time

1 – 2 Days

1 – 4 Days
(Depending on materials.)

3 – 5 Days

Tolerances

First inch ± 0.005 in
Add. inches ± 0.0015 in/in
UMA 90: First inch ± 0.005 in
Add. inches ± 0.002 in/in

Two-part engineering materials depend on the geometries.
First inch ± 0.005 in
Add. inches ± 0.0015 in/in

Layer Thickness

Normal Resolution: 0.004 in
Minimum Feature Size: 0.012 in.

High-Resolution 0.002 in
Minimum Feature: 0.006 in (feature size depends on geometry).

Standard Resolution: 0.004 in

Fine Resolution: 0.002 in

Ultra Fine Resolution: 0.001 in

Standard Resolution: 0.004 in

Fine Resolution: 0.002 in

Design Recommendations

Stereolithography

Connecting & Moving Parts: 0.03 in

Escape Holes: 0.04 in

Embossing & Engraving: Width 0.016 in and height/depth 0.016 in

Holes & Openings: 0.02 in

Horizontal Spans: 0.08 in

Minimum Features: 0.008 in

Pin Diameter: 0.03 in

Supports & Overhangs: Base supports otherwise 45°

Walls (supported): 0.02 in

Walls (unsupported): 0.04 in

Digital Light Processing

Connecting & Moving Parts: Rigid 0.1 in and flexible 0.03 in

Escape Holes: Rigid 0.04 in and flexible 0.04 in

Embossing & Engraving: Rigid width 0.008 in and height/depth 0.004 in. Flexible width 0.035 in and height/depth 0.02 in.

Holes & Openings: Rigid 0.008 in and flexible 0.035 in

Horizontal Spans: Rigid 0.12 in and flexible 0.04 in

Minimum Features: Rigid 0.004 in and flexible 0.04 in

Pin Diameter: Rigid 0.004 in and flexible 0.04 in

Supports & Overhangs: Rigid 25° and flexible 45°

Walls (supported): Rigid 0.008 in and flexible 0.04 in

Walls (unsupported): Rigid 0.012 in and flexible 0.098 in

Hybrid PhotoSynthesis

Connecting & Moving Parts: 0.03 in

Escape Holes: 0.04 in

Embossing & Engraving: Width 0.016 in and height/depth 0.016 in

Holes & Openings: 0.02 in

Horizontal Spans: 0.08 in

Minimum Features: 0.008 in

Pin Diameter: 0.03 in

Supports & Overhangs: Base supports otherwise 45°

Walls (supported): 0.02 in

Walls (unsupported): 0.04 in

Stereolithography
Digital Light Processing
Hybrid PhotoSynthesis

Connecting & Moving Parts

0.03 in

Rigid: 0.1 in
Flexible: 0.03 in

0.03 in

Escape Holes

0.04 in

Rigid: 0.04 in
Flexible: 0.04 in

0.04 in

Embossing & Engraving

Width: 0.016 in
Height/Depth: 0.016 in

Rigid:
W: 0.008 in
H/D: 0.004 in

Flexible:
W: 0.035 in
H/D: 0.02 in

Width: 0.016 in
Height/Depth: 0.016 in

Holes & Openings

0.02 in

Rigid: 0.008 in
Flexible: 0.035 in

0.02 in

Horizontal Spans

0.08 in

Rigid: 0.12 in
Flexible: 0.04 in

0.08 in

Minimum Features

0.008 in

Rigid: 0.004 in
Flexible: 0.04 in

0.008 in

Pin Diameter

0.03 in

Rigid: 0.004 in
Flexible: 0.04 in

0.03 in

Supports & Overhangs

Base Supports Otherwise 45°

Rigid: 25°
Flexible: 45°

Base Supports Otherwise 45°

Walls (Supported)

0.02 in

Rigid: 0.008 in
Flexible: 0.04 in

0.02 in

Walls (Unsupported)

0.04 in

Rigid: 0.012 in
Flexible: 0.098 in

0.04 in

Finishing Levels

The following finishing levels are the same for all photopolymer-based technologies (stereolithography, digital light processing, and hybrid photosynthesis)

Natural –  Support faces are sanded, and layer lines are visible.

Standard – Support faces are sanded, and the entire part is bead-blasted for a matte/opaque finish with some layer lines visible (black will appear grey)

Improved Exterior – Exterior (cosmetic) surfaces are sanded, and the entire part is bead-blasted for a smooth matte finish.

Improved All – All accessible surfaces are sanded, and the entire part is bead-blasted for a smooth matte finish.

Clear – Natural finish with clear coat. The layer lines are still visible.

Improved Clear – All accessible surfaces are sanded smooth with a clear coat for optimal clarity on transparent materials.

Primed Exterior – Exterior (cosmetic) surfaces are sanded, bead-blasted, and primed grey.

Primed All – All accessible surfaces are sanded, bead-blasted, and primed grey.

Painted – All accessible surfaces are sanded, bead-blasted, primed, and painted (provide a drawing with your paint specifications)

Custom – Custom finish. Let us know if your project requires special finishing. Please fill out our engineer assisted quote form!

Stereolithography
Digital Light Processing
Hybrid PhotoSynthesis

Natural

Support faces are sanded, and layer lines are visible.

Standard

Support faces are sanded, and the entire part is bead-blasted for a matte/opaque finish with some layer lines visible (black will appear grey).

Improved Exterior

Exterior (cosmetic) surfaces are sanded, and the entire part is bead-blasted for a smooth matte finish.

Improved All

All accessible surfaces are sanded, and the entire part is bead-blasted for a smooth matte finish.

Clear

Natural finish with clear coat. The layer lines are still visible.

Improved Clear

All accessible surfaces are sanded smooth with a clear coat for optimal clarity on transparent materials.

Primed Exterior

Exterior (cosmetic) surfaces are sanded, bead-blasted, and primed grey.

Primed Exterior

Exterior (cosmetic) surfaces are sanded, bead-blasted, and primed grey.

Primed All

All accessible surfaces are sanded, bead-blasted, and primed grey.

Painted

All accessible surfaces are sanded, bead-blasted, primed, and painted (provide a drawing with your paint specifications)

Custom

Custom finish. Let us know if your project requires special finishing. Please fill out our engineer-assisted quote form.

Are you ready to start your project?

FAQs

What are the similarities between stereolithography, digital light processing, and hybrid photosynthesis?
Stereolithography, digital light processing, and hybrid photosynthesis are all additive manufacturing techniques that utilize light-based curing or solidification processes to create 3D objects. These technologies share the common principle of selectively exposing photosensitive materials to light, enabling the layer-by-layer fabrication of complex geometries.
What are the differences between stereolithography, digital light processing, and hybrid photosynthesis?
Stereolithography (SLA) uses a UV laser to cure liquid resin, while Digital Light Processing (DLP) utilizes a digital light projector. Hybrid Photosynthesis combines SLA and DLP, offering faster print speeds and improved part accuracy. Each technology has unique advantages for specific manufacturing applications.

Standard Drill Bit Sizes

Drill Size

Imperial

Metric

#107

0.0019 in

0.0483 mm

0.05 mm

0.0020 in

0.0500 mm

#106

0.0023 in

0.0584 mm

#105

0.0027 in

0.0686 mm

#104

0.0031 in

0.0787 mm

#103

0.0035 in

0.0889 mm

#102

0.0039 in

0.0991 mm

0.1 mm

0.0039 in

0.1000 mm

#101

0.0043 in

0.1092 mm

#100

0.0047 in

0.1194 mm

#99

0.0051 in

0.1295 mm

#98

0.0055 in

0.1397 mm

#97

0.0059 in

0.1499 mm

#96

0.0063 in

0.1600 mm

#95

0.0067 in

0.1702 mm

#94

0.0071 in

0.1803 mm

#93

0.0075 in

0.1905 mm

0.2 mm

0.0079 in

0.2000 mm

#92

0.0079 in

0.2007 mm

#91

0.0083 in

0.2108 mm

#90

0.0087 in

0.2210 mm

#89

0.0091 in

0.2311 mm

#88

0.0095 in

0.2413 mm

#87

0.0100 in

0.2540 mm

#86

0.0105 in

0.2667 mm

#85

0.0110 in

0.2794 mm

#84

0.0115 in

0.2921 mm

0.3 mm

0.0118 in

0.3000 mm

#83

0.0120 in

0.3048 mm

#82

0.0125 in

0.3175 mm

#81

0.0130 in

0.3302 mm

#80

0.0135 in

0.3429 mm

#79

0.0145 in

0.3680 mm

1/64 in

0.0156 in

0.3969 mm

0.4 mm

0.0158 in

0.4000 mm

#78

0.0160 in

0.4064 mm

#77

0.0180 in

0.4572 mm

0.5 mm

0.0197 in

0.5000 mm

#76

0.0200 in

0.5080 mm

#75

0.0210 in

0.5334 mm

#74

0.0225 in

0.5715 mm

0.6 mm

0.0236 in

0.6000 mm

#73

0.0240 in

0.6069 mm

#72

0.0250 in

0.6350 mm

#71

0.0260 in

0.6604 mm

0.7 mm

0.0276 in

0.7000 mm

#70

0.0280 in

0.7112 mm

#69

0.0292 in

0.7417 mm

#68

0.0310 in

0.7874 mm

1/32 in

0.0313 in

0.7938 mm

0.8 mm

0.0315 in

0.8000 mm

#67

0.0320 in

0.8128 mm

#66

0.0330 in

0.8382 mm

#65

0.0350 in

0.8890 mm

0.9 mm

0.0354 in

0.9000 mm

#64

0.0360 in

0.9144 mm

#63

0.0370 in

0.9398 mm

#62

0.0380 in

0.9652 mm

#61

0.0390 in

0.9906 mm

1 mm

0.0394 in

1.0000 mm

#60

0.0400 in

1.0160 mm

#59

0.0410 in

1.0414 mm

#58

0.0420 in

1.0668 mm

#57

0.0430 in

1.0922 mm

1.1 mm

0.0433 in

1.1000 mm

#56

0.0465 in

1.1811 mm

3/64 in

0.0469 in

1.1906 mm

1.2 mm

0.0472 in

1.2000 mm

1.3 mm

0.0512 in

1.3000 mm

#55

0.0520 in

1.3208 mm

#54

0.0550 in

1.3970 mm

1.4 mm

0.0551 in

1.4000 mm

1.5 mm

0.0591 in

1.5000 mm

#53

0.0595 in

1.5113 mm

1/16 in

0.0625 in

1.5875 mm

1.6 mm

0.0630 in

1.6000 mm

#52

0.0635 in

1.6129 mm

1.7 mm

0.0669 in

1.7000 mm

#51

0.0670 in

1.7018 mm

#50

0.0700 in

1.7780 mm

1.8 mm

0.0709 in

1.8000 mm

#49

0.0730 in

1.8542 mm

1.9 mm

0.0748 in

1.9000 mm

#48

0.0760 in

1.9304 mm

5/64 in

0.0781 in

1.9844 mm

#47

0.0785 in

1.9939 mm

2 mm

0.0787 in

2.0000 mm

#46

0.0810 in

2.0574 mm

#45

0.0820 in

2.0828 mm

2.1 mm

0.0827 in

2.1000 mm

#44

0.0860 in

2.1844 mm

2.2 mm

0.0866 in

2.2000 mm

#43

0.0890 in

2.2606 mm

2.3 mm

0.0906 in

2.3000 mm

#42

0.0935 in

2.3749 mm

3/32 in

0.0938 in

2.3813 mm

2.4 mm

0.0945 in

2.4000 mm

#41

0.0960 in

2.4384 mm

#40

0.0980 in

2.4892 mm

2.5 mm

0.0984 in

2.5000 mm

#39

0.0995 in

2.5273 mm

#38

0.1015 in

2.5781 mm

2.6 mm

0.1024 in

2.6000 mm

#37

0.1040 in

2.6416 mm

2.7 mm

0.1063 in

2.7000 mm

#36

0.1065 in

2.7051 mm

7/64 in

0.1094 in

2.7781 mm

#35

0.1100 in

2.7940 mm

2.8 mm

0.1102 in

2.8000 mm

#34

0.1110 in

2.8194 mm

#33

0.1130 in

2.8702 mm

2.9 mm

0.1142 in

2.9000 mm

#32 

0.1160 in

2.9464 mm

3 mm

0.1181 in

3.0000 mm

3.1 mm

0.1221 in

3.1000 mm

1/8 in

0.1250 in

3.1750 mm

3.2 mm

0.1260 in

3.2000 mm

#30

0.1285 in

3.2639 mm

3.3 mm

0.1299 in

3.3000 mm

3.4 mm

0.1339 in

3.4000 mm

#29

0.1360 in

3.4544 mm

9/64 in

0.1406 in

3.5719 mm

5/32 in

0.1563 in

3.9688 mm

11/64 in

0.1719 in

4.3656 mm

3/16 in

0.1875 in

4.7625 mm

13/64 in

0.2031 in

5.1594 mm

7/32 in

0.2188 in

5.5563 mm

15/64 in

0.2344 in

5.9531 mm

1/4 in

0.2500 in

6.3500 mm

17/64 in

0.2656 in

6.7469 mm

9/32 in

0.2813 in

7.1438 mm

19/64 in

0.2969 in

7.5406 mm

5/16 in

0.3125 in

7.9375 mm

21/64 in

0.3281 in

8.3344 mm

11/32 in

0.3438 in

8.7313 mm

23/64 in

0.3594 in

9.1281 mm

3/8 in

0.3750 in

9.5250 mm

25/64 in

0.3906 in

9.9219 mm

13/32 in

0.4063 in

10.3188 mm

27/64 in

0.4219 in

10.7156 mm

7/16 in

0.4375 in

11.1125 mm

29/64 in

0.4531 in

11.5094 mm

15/32 in

0.4688 in

11.9063 mm

31/64 in

0.4844 in

12.3031 mm

1/2 in

0.5 in

12.700 mm

33/64 in

0.5156 in

13.0969 mm

17/32 in

0.5313 in

13.4938 mm

35/64 in

0.5469 in

13.8906 mm

9/16 in

0.5625 in

14.2875 mm

37/64 in

0.5781 in

14.6844 mm

19/32 in

0.5938 in

15.0813 mm

39/64 in

0.6094 in

15.4781 mm

5/8 in

0.6250 in

15.8750 mm

41/64 in

0.6406 in

16.2719 mm

43/64 in

0.6719 in

17.0656 mm

11/16 in

0.6875 in

17.4625 mm

45/64 in

0.7031 in

17.8594 mm

23/32 in

0.7188 in

18.2563 mm

47/64 in

0.7344 in

18.6531 mm

3/4 in

0.7500 in

19.0500 mm

49/64 in

0.7656 in

19.4469 mm

25/32 in

0.7813 in

19.8438 mm

51/64 in

0.7969 in

20.2406 mm

13/16 in

0.8125 in

20.6375 mm

53/64 in

0.8281 in

21.0344 mm

27/32 in

0.8438 in

21.4313 mm

55/64 in

0.8594 in

21.8281 mm

7/8 in

0.8750 in

22.2250 mm

57/64 in

0.8906 in

22.6219 mm

29/32 in

0.9063 in

23.0188 mm

21/23 in

0.9130 in

23.1913 mm

59/64 in

0.9219 in

23.4156 mm

15/16 in

0.9375 in

23.8125 mm

61/64 in

0.9531 in

24.2094 mm

31/32 in

0.9688 in

24.6063 mm

63/64 in

0.9844 in

25.0031 mm

1 in

1.0000 in

25.4000 mm

1 1/64 in

1.0156 in

25.7969 mm

1 1/32 in

1.0313 in

26.1938 mm

1 3/64 in

1.0469 in

26.5906 mm

1 1/16 in

1.0625 in

26.9875 mm

1 5/64 in

1.0781 in

27.3844 mm

1 3/32 in

1.0938 in

27.7813 mm

1 7/64 in

1.1094 in

28.1781 mm

1 1/8 in

1.1250 in

28.5750 mm

1 9/64 in

1.1406 in

28.9719 mm

1 5/32 in

1.1563 in

29.3688 mm

1 11/64 in

1.1719 in

29.7656 mm

1 3/16 in

1.1875 in

30.1625 mm

1 13/64 in

1.2031 in

30.5594 mm

1 7/32 in

1.2188 in

30.9563 mm

1 15/64 in

1.2344 in

31.3531 mm

1 1/4 in

1.2500 in

31.7500 mm

1 17/64 in

1.2656 in

32.1469 mm

1 9/32 in

1.2813 in

32.5438 mm

1 19/64 in

1.2969 in

32.9406 mm

1 5/16 in

1.3125 in

33.3375 mm

1 21/64 in

1.3281 in

33.7344 mm

1 11/32 in

1.3438 in

34.1313 mm

1 23/64 in

1.3594 in

34.5281 mm

1 3/8 in

1.3750 in

34.9250 mm

1 25/64 in

1.3906 in

35.3219 mm

1 13/32 in

1.4063 in

35.7188 mm

1 27/64 in

1.4219 in

36.1156 mm

1 7/16 in

1.4375 in

36.5125 mm

1 29/64 in

1.4531 in

36.9094 mm

1 15/32 in

1.4688 in

37.3063 mm

1 31/64 in

1.4844 in

37.7031 mm

1 1/2 in

1.5000 in

38.1000 mm