Ideas too large for a print bed?

Stereolithography, also known as SLA or SL for short, is the veteran of 3D printing technologies. It’s been around at Materialise since 1990, and continues to be one of the most widely-used rapid prototyping technologies for plastic models.

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Why choose Stereolithography?

When you need a part printed yesterday and delivered right now, Stereolithography is what you want to be looking at. It’s a technology that produces great looking models with impeccable surface quality in no time. At Materialise, we’ve also developed our own patented Mammoth Stereolithography machines that let us build and ship parts in less than a day. And they even give you the freedom to 3D print parts up to 2 meters long in a single build.

Ideal applications for Stereolithography

  • Visual prototypes for photo shoots and market testing
  • “Show and tell” parts with smooth surfaces and fine details
  • Prototypes for limited functional testing
  • Masters for copying techniques such as Vacuum Casting
  • Alternatives for sheet metal prototypes when coated with a metal plating process
  • Patterns for investment casting
  • Low-volume production of complex geometries

Technical Specifications

Standard lead time

Minimum of 3 working days (or 12 hours for models using the NextDay service at Materialise OnSite), depending on part size, number of components and finishing degrees

Standard accuracy

±0.2% (with a lower limit on ±0.2 mm)

Layer thickness

Mammoth SL: 0.1 mm
Standard SL: 0.1 – 0.15 mm (varies by material)
NextDay SL: 0.15 – 0.2 mm (varies by material)

Minimum wall thickness

1 – 3 mm (depending on part dimensions)

Maximum build dimensions

2100 x 700 x 800 mm (offline orders)
1100 x 690 x 590 mm (online orders)
600 x 400 x 75 mm (NextDay orders)
Dimensions are unlimited as components may be composed of several sub-parts

Surface structure

Unfinished parts typically have visible building layers on the surface but post-production finishes can achieve different effects, from high glosses to coarse textures. Stereolithography parts can be sandblasted, smoothed, colored/impregnated, painted, varnished, covered and coated

Materials

Poly1500

Poly1500

  • Translucent material with properties comparable to those of PP (polypropylene)
  • Impact-resistant and durable
  • Lead time: 3 working days (12 hours for NextDay orders)
  • Maximum part dimensions: 2000 x 700 x 788 mm
ProtoGen White

ProtoGen White

  • Suitable for general-purpose applications
  • Resilient material with good surface quality and thermal properties
  • Lead time: 3 working days
  • Maximum part dimensions: 2000 x 700 x 788 mm
TuskXC2700T

TuskXC2700T

  • Transparent
  • Suitable for strong, water-resistant prototypes
  • Lead time: 3 working days
  • Maximum part dimensions: 2000 x 700 x 788 mm
TuskXC2700W

TuskXC2700W

  • White
  • Suitable for strong, water-resistant prototypes
  • Lead time: 3 working days (12 hours for NextDay orders)
  • Maximum part dimensions: 600 x 600 x 400 mm
Taurus

Taurus

  • Charcoal black
  • Very high elongation at break
  • Lead time: 3 working days
  • Maximum part dimensions: 500 x 500 x 568 mm
Xtreme

Xtreme

  • High impact strength and high elongation at break
  • Excellent surface quality
  • Lead time: 3 working days
  • Maximum part dimensions: 500 x 500 x 568 mm
Tusk Somos SolidGrey3000

Tusk Somos SolidGrey3000

  • High impact resistance & high degree of stiffness
  • Exclusively available at Materialise
  • Lead time: 3 working days
  • Maximum part dimensions: 2000 x 700 x 788 mm
NeXt

NeXt

  • Extremely durable resin with high feature detail
  • Good moisture resistance & thermal properties
  • Lead time: 3 working days
  • Maximum part dimensions: 500 x 500 x 520 mm
PerFORM

PerFORM

  • Strong, stiff resin with high thermal resistance
  • Suitable for wind tunnel tests for aerospace & automotive applications
  • Lead time: 3 working days
  • Maximum part dimensions: 500 x 500 x 568 mm

How Does Stereolithography Work?

Stereolithography is a laser-based technology that uses a UV-sensitive liquid resin. A UV laser beam scans the surface of the resin and selectively hardens the material corresponding to a cross-section of the product, building the 3D part from the bottom to the top. The required supports for overhangs and cavities are automatically generated, and later manually removed.

play_circle_outline See how Stereolithography works

Need prototypes fast?

From your design to your desk in 24 hours. NextDay prototypes.

Deadlines matter. If you’re in a rush and need your prototypes ASAP, we offer you dedicated NextDay service using Stereolithography machines reserved for just that purpose. We can ensure lead times of under 1 working day for your most time-critical projects. Let’s put the ‘rapid’ back into rapid prototyping.

Learn more Get an online quote

Place an order by December 24th, get a free gift!

Upload 3D file

Place an order by December 24th, get a free gift!

Upload 3D file