3D Printing Service:
Stereolithography

Parts in 1 to 2 days.

Stereolithography (SLA) is used for:

Quality Matters  |  AS9100D Certified, ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, & ITAR Registered

Certifications and Registrations

* Not all locations have all certifications and registrations. Parts requiring these will be made at facilities with the correct certifications and registrations.

What is Stereolithography - A Collage of Photopolymer Based Technology Stereolithography printer SLA
Our Digital Manufacturing Process is Simple.

Upload a CAD file and request a quote.

Our team begins production once the project specifications are finalized and the quote is accepted.

When the part has been completed and finished, it passes through quality control.

After your part goes through quality control, our team ships the part(s) to you.

Table of Contents

What is Stereolithography?

Stereolithography (SLA) is a type of 3D printing technology that utilizes photopolymerization to create solid objects. The process involves using an ultraviolet-sensitive liquid resin that polymerizes into a solid material when exposed to a UV laser. Subsequently, the laser selectively cures the part, layer by layer, to form the desired shape.

Following the formation of the object, it undergoes post-processing with additional UV and thermal treatments to enhance its strength and durability. As a result, the resulting parts are highly accurate and boast a smooth surface finish.

Stereolithography is a quick and precise process commonly employed to produce form and fit prototypes, master patterns, and large concept models. Its high speed and design flexibility enable rapid iteration during new product development. Furthermore, stereolithography printers facilitate the creation of complex geometries that would be challenging or impossible to achieve with traditional manufacturing techniques.

How does Stereolithography work?

Our Additive Manufacturing (AM) Technicians start by uploading your CAD file into the SLA printer. Subsequently, the software breaks down the file layer by layer. The technicians carefully consider the orientation of the part and the placement of supports when setting up the part. The Stereolithography printer uses an ultraviolet laser to draw each layer of the part onto the surface of the liquid thermoset resin. After each laser pass, the build platform moves down, and a bar moves across the surface to recoat the platform. Subsequently, this process repeats until the build is complete.

Once the printing is finished, the AM Technician removes the platform from the stereolithography printer, and the parts are manually removed and cleaned using solvents. Following this, the parts undergo a UV curing cycle to solidify the outer surface of the component. Finally, the components are sent to the finishing department.

AM Technology_Stereolithography printer SLA

Advantages to Stereolithography

Stereolithography technology has revolutionized the way products are designed and manufactured. The following are a few of the advantages of stereolithography:

Disadvantages to Stereolithography

While there are a lot of advantages to stereolithography, there are also some disadvantages to consider:

Stereolithography at Prototek

OEM:

3D Systems, Stratasys

Max Build Area:

31 x 31 x 23 in

Lead Time:

1 – 2 Days

Material:

3D Systems Accura®: 25, 60, ClearVue, ABS Black, AMX Rigid Black, AMX Tough FR V0 Black, SL 5530, Xtreme, Xtreme White 200

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

Tolerances:

± 0.005 in for the first inch and ± 0.0015 in/in for each additional inch

Layer Thickness:

The normal resolution layer thickness is 0.004 in, and the minimum feature size is 0.012 in.

The high-resolution layer thickness is 0.002 in, and the minimum feature size is 0.006 in (feature size depends on geometry).

Prototek's Materials

Material

Description

Characteristics

More Information

This plastic is fast and easy to process, effectively simulating the properties and aesthetics of polypropylene. Additionally, it offers high flexibility, durability, and precision.

  • White
  • Flexible
  • Good For Snap Fits
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • Low Viscosity

It is a high-quality, high-performance clear/translucent plastic for SLA. Its unique properties make it perfect for producing solid and rigid parts with the appearance of molded polycarbonate.

  • Clear/Translucent
  • Rigid
  • High Strength
  • High Detail/High Resolution

It is a high-quality material known for its exceptional clarity, making it perfect for applications requiring visual appeal.

  • Clear/Translucent
  • Biocompatible*
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Moisture Resistant

It is a multi-purpose stereolithography material offering a balanced property profile with good flexibility, shock absorption, and the possibility to print tiny structures with a high level of detail.

  • Black
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • Rigid
  • Impact Resistant

It is a high-performance SLA photopolymer resin designed for additive manufacturing applications. Its unique formulation provides superior mechanical properties.

  • Black
  • Biocompatible*
  • Good For Snap Fits
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Rigid
  • UV Stable 

It is particularly noteworthy for being the industry’s first flame-retardant stereolithography material, making it an ideal choice for applications where fire safety is paramount. Moreover, the material boasts exceptional toughness and durability, making it suitable for producing high-quality parts that withstand demanding conditions. 

  • Black
  • Flame Retardant
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength

This material is perfect for creating durable, functional pieces that are solid and stable. Additionally, its translucent color makes post-processing and finishing easier.

  • Translucent Amber
  • Chemical Resistant
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Rigid
  • Temperature Resistant

It is a high-performance, rigid photopolymer material with excellent mechanical properties. Moreover, its unique blend of acrylate monomers and oligomers gives it superior toughness and impact resistance.

  • Grey
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • Good for Snap Fits
  • Impact Resistant
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Rigid
  • Temperature Resistant

It is a durable and inflexible SLA material recognized for its high precision and capability to capture intricate details, making it perfect for producing models, prototypes, and end-use parts.

  • White
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • Good for Snap Fits
  • Impact Resistant 
  • Low Viscosity
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Rigid

This stereolithography material is an advanced engineered resin that produces precise, functional prototypes and parts. Additionally, it is clear and colorless, capable of producing parts with exceptional clarity, smooth surface finish, and high fidelity.

  • Clear/Translucent
  • Biocompatible*
  • Chemical Resistant
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Moisture Resistant

It offers higher stiffness and strength than other SLA materials currently available. Furthermore, it exhibits exceptional moisture resistance, making it an ideal material for parts exposed to humid or wet environments.

  • Off-White
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Good for Snap Fits
  • Low Viscosity

It is a top-performing material perfect for applications requiring high strength, durability, and precision. This material is mainly used in industries such as aerospace or the medical field. It is composed of a unique blend of liquid resins and composite particles, offering a combination of stiffness and toughness. This material withstands high-stress environments effectively.

  • Off-White
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Rigid
  • Temperature Resistant

This versatile photopolymer resin offers exceptional accuracy, detail, and thermal resistance for a wide range of additive manufacturing applications. Its strong properties make it an excellent option for functional prototypes.

  • Red
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Humidity Resistant
  • Temperature Resistant

It is a thermoplastic resin known for its exceptional strength and durability, making it a popular choice for applications that require high performance, such as automotive, aerospace, and medical. 

  • Dark Grey
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Impact Resistant
  • Temperature Resistant

It is a durable, translucent SLA photopolymer that can produce high-quality parts with excellent accuracy and detail. The material is ideal for functional prototyping, creating models, and producing finished products with complex geometries.

  • Clear/Translucent
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • Low Viscosity
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Rigid
  • Temperature Resistant

This high-performance stereolithography resin is carefully formulated to provide exceptional thermal stability, durability, and strength. It is ideal for producing solid and stable parts for various applications. Moreover, with its advanced properties, this resin can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh environmental conditions while maintaining its structural integrity.

  • Black
  • Chemical Resistant
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Rigid

This durable and high-performance photopolymer resin combines mechanical strength, toughness, and dimensional stability, making it ideal for applications that require accurate and complex geometries. Additionally, it is suitable for a wide range of manufacturing needs.

  • Clear/Translucent
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • Low Viscosity
  • Rigid
  • Water Resistant

*Special processing may be required. Please notify us of any biocompatibility needs.

Design Recommendations

Stereolithography, called SLA, is an additive manufacturing technology that offers exceptional design accuracy and provides detailed and smooth parts. With SLA, designers need to consider several important factors when designing parts that can ensure the success of their project. One of the most crucial factors when working with this technology is the support structures required for stability and prosperous production. Additionally, part orientation is critical to your final product’s strength and quality. Another significant aspect to consider is creating designs with high resolution and intricate details, which can help maximize the smoothness of your SLA printed model. Finally, it’s essential to choose suitable materials based on the desired properties of your final product, which can contribute significantly to the overall success of your project.

Prototek's Additive Design Poster
Feature Measurement

Connecting & Moving Parts

0.03 in

Escape Holes

0.04 in

Embossing & Engraving

Width: 0.016 in
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
Feature Measurement

Connecting & Moving Parts

0.7 mm

Escape Holes

1 mm

Embossing & Engraving

Width: 0.4 mm
Height/Depth: 0.4 mm

Holes & Openings

0.5 mm

Horizontal Spans

2 mm

Minimum Features

0.2 mm

Pin Diameter

0.7 mm

Supports & Overhangs

Base Support Otherwise 45°

Walls (Supported)

0.5 mm

Walls (Unsupported)

1 mm

Stereolithography Finishes

After the printing process, 3D objects undergo post-processing to achieve a polished and professional look. The first step in post-processing involves removing excess resin from the object’s surface, which is done using a cleaning fluid or rinse tank. This step ensures the stereolithography printed object is clean and smooth before moving on to the next stage.

 

Next, the object is placed under a UV lamp or in a UV oven for UV curing. This process is essential to create strong, durable finished products that won’t break or warp over time. UV curing hardens all the uncured resin on the object, making it more robust.

 

After UV curing, support structures on the SLA printed object can be sanded away. In some cases, structures were necessary during printing to prevent deformations. Thus, this step creates a clean look without affecting the model’s strength or structure.

 

Once the sanding is complete, various finishing techniques can be used to enhance the appearance and durability of the 3D prints. For instance, painting allows adding color to the prints, while clear-coating protects them from scratches and other forms of wear and tear. Plating, on the other hand, adds a thin layer of metal to the surface of the prints, giving them a shiny and metallic look.

Stereolithography - Accura® ClearVue - from an SLA Printer

Stereolithography Project Highlights

Ford & RTR Vehicles - F-150 Switchgear EV
Ford & RTR Vehicles – Switchgear Drives Performance with
Functional Testing
Why choose Prototek for your next stereolithography project?

Prototek is the perfect choice for stereolithography due to its vast experience in rapid prototyping and advanced technology for creating accurate stereolithography printed models and functional parts. The company adheres to strict ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D quality management standards, ensuring reliable models for the aerospace, medical, and automotive industries. Prototek’s experienced team also guides the design and prototyping process to ensure accuracy, function, and aesthetic appeal. Trust Prototek for high-quality Stereolithography services that turn ideas into reality with precision.

What do our customers say about us?
I had an emergency order this past month and they quoted it within budget and we received it earlier than anyone else quoted.
Industrial Industry
We are extremely happy with the quality of the parts as well as the level of service - thanks!
VP Product Designer

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