When you look at the various types of rapid prototyping it can get a little confusing. There are acronyms everywhere and long words that sound like they belong in an advanced chemistry classroom. So what is the difference between SLA, SLS, FDM, and PJET? What do they do? Why are there so many? Dont they all do the same thing?
As you dig into rapid prototyping you can begin to see that there are different forms of RP for different purposes. Each one has aspects that make it beneficial, as well as weak points. Some increase accuracy of the prototype, but might lack product durability, others might be durable but cant be be designed with a high level of detail. In this article we will look at the advantages of Stereolithography (SLA) and see what this rapid prototyping process has to offer.
Parts can be made very shortly. A design can be created through the SLA process in less than two days. This is great for demonstration purposes because it allows for quick turn around if a design needs to be tuned or modified.
SLA is able to create smoother surfaces than most other rapid prototyping methods. This allows for great prototypes when demonstrating the aesthetic appeal of a project. It is also great for things like photo shoots to promote the product that might have not even be in major production yet.
Smooth surface means a high level of design detail and designs will be ultra accurate.
Not only are the surfaces of the products nice to look at, but they are also high quality surfaces. SLA is the primary methods that is used when printing custom medical materials. This is possible because SLA is able to produce items that are water resistant.
You can create low volume products with complex design and geometrical configurations.
Size doesnt have to be an issue. The size of the prototyped part can be small and detailed, or large and detailed.
You have lots of finish options. With SLA you have a variety of different finish options which means you can create a prototype that is very close to the finished product.
You also have a lot of different options when it comes to material. This is one of the big upsides to SLA printing.
These are some, but not all of the benefits of SLA printing. As you can see, this form of rapid prototyping allows designers to create specific, custom products for a wide variety of uses. Without SLA, this process would take much longer and increase in complexity, but because of the abilities of SLA printing designers can cut both time and cost.