Stereolithography (SLA)

Stereolithography, or SLA for short, is our most popular rapid prototyping process. Agile runs a fleet of large platform SLA machines lead by our “Monster” iPro 9000XL building parts up to 59 in x 29 in x 21 in. The greatest advantage of the SLA process is the final look of the product. Parts built in SLA have a smooth finish much like end use plastic parts. Couple that with the high speed of SLA and you have our most popular prototyping process.

Agile offers the greatest selection of SLA materials, meaning we can mimic the material properties of your final product. In many cases we use SLA for low volume manufacturing. This is because the more parts you build in SLA, the less each part will cost (economy of scale), one of the many ways Agile’s expertise can save you money.

Parts: 1 to 10+

Shipped in: 1 to 3 days

Excellent for:

  • Concept Models
  • Fit & Form Checks
  • Trade Show Models

How SLA Works

SLA is often considered the pioneer of the additive manufacturing processes, with the first production systems introduced in 1988 and patented by 3D Systems founder Charles (Chuck) W. Hull. The SLA process utilizes a vat of liquid photopolymer resin cured by ultraviolet (UV) laser to solidify the pattern layer by layer to create or “print” a solid 3D model.

A UV laser beam is directed by a computer guided mirror onto the surface of the UV photopolymer resin. The model is built one layer at a time from supplied 3D CAD data.

The laser beam traces the boundaries and fills in a two-dimensional cross section of the model, solidifying the resin wherever it touches. Each successive layer is applied by submersion of the build platform into the resin as the part gradually develops and the platform descends into the liquid resin.

Once the model is complete, the platform rises out of the vat and the excess resin is drained. The model is then removed from the platform, washed of excess resin, and then placed in a UV oven for a final curing. After curing SLA parts are then ready for post processing as required by the specific application.

TOLERANCES

Building in layers of .004″ or less, most parts can be produced within .005″ or less on the X/Y/Z  axis.

BUILD ENVELOPE

With the largest machine in the industry, our iPro9000 XL can handle parts up to 59″ x 29″ x 21″ in size.

BEST APPLICATIONS

SLA is best suited for fit & form tests, conceptual models, and parts requiring smooth surface finishes.

Our SLA Material Offering

Accura Extreme White 200

Material Summary:

Ultra tough white plastic to replace CNC machined polypropylene and ABS articles

Application Examples:

  • Exceptionally tough and durable
  • Resists breakage and handles challenging functional assemblies
  • Great for snap fits, assemblies and demanding applications
  • Ideal for master patterns for vacuum casting

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Accura 25 SLA

Material Summary:

  • Look and feel of molded polypropylene
  • High flexibility with excellent shape retention
  • Outstanding feature resolution and accuracy
  • High production speed
  • Reliable and robust functional prototypes
  • Suitable for master patterns
  • More parts and better system utilization
  • Easy to use with no user R&D

Application Examples:

  • Functional components for assemblies and mock-ups for:
    • Automotive styling parts — trim, fascia, and other components
    • Consumer electronic components
    • Toys
    • Snap fit assemblies
  • Master patterns for RTV/silicone molding
  • Replace CNC machining of polypropylene and ABS to produce short-run plastic parts
  • Simulate injection molded parts
  • Concept and marketing models

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Accura ClearVue

Material Summary:

A plastic that simulates the properties and appearance of Polycarbonate and ABS.

  • The highest clarity and transparency
  • Durable and strong
  • Humidity and moisture stable
  • USP class VI capable

Application Examples:

  • General purpose prototyping
  • Models requiring high clarity
    • Headlamps and lenses
    • Fluid flow and visualization models
    • Transparent assemblies
  • Complex assemblies
  • Medical models and medical devices

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Accura Ceramax

Material Summary:

  • A plastic-ceramic composite
  • High thermal resistance
  • Excellent abrasion resistance
  • Moisture resistant
  • Extremely rigid
  • Withstand temperatures of up to 220 °C
  • Models that can withstand wear in aggressive applications
  • Components can survive in adverse thermal environments
  • Components can be plated
  • Parts retain properties & dimensions for extended durations

Application Examples:

  • Heat and wear resistant components
  • Stiff/Rigid assemblies and prototypes
  • Composite ceramic-like components
  • Aesthetic components for art and archival models
  • Moisture stable components
  • Automotive and aerospace applications

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Accura 60 propeller

Material Summary:

  • Durable and stiff
  • High clarity
  • Fast build speed
  • Low viscosity formulation
  • Humidity resistant parts
  • Fully developed and tested build styles
  • Achieve the look and feel of polycarbonate
  • View internal features and passages
  • Increase system throughput
  • Minimize part cleaning and finishing
  • Maximize reliability with no user R&D

Application Examples:

  • Tough functional prototypes
  • Automotive design components
  • Consumer electronics (cell phones etc.)
  • Medical instruments, devices and labware
  • Lighting components (lenses etc.)
  • Fluid flow and visualization models
  • Master patterns for urethane castings
  • QuickCast™ patterns for investment casting
  • Transparent assemblies
  • Clear display models
  • Concept and marketing models

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Accura Extreme

Material Summary:

  • Look and feel of a durable molded plastic
  • Outstanding durability and impact resistance
  • Thermal resistance over 60° C
  • Easy to use low viscosity formulation
  • Increased application opportunities
  • Suitable for assemblies and functional testing
  • Prototypes withstand modest temperatures without distortion
  • Faster recoating and build times
  • Maximize reliability with no user R&D

Application Examples:

  • Form, fit and function prototypes
    • Durable assemblies
    • Snap fit assemblies
    • Tough enclosures
  • Consumer electronic components
  • Master patterns for RTV/Silicone molding
  • Replace CNC machining of Polypropylene and ABS

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Accura Bluestone

Material Summary:

  • Exceptional stiffness
  • High temperature resistance
  • Excellent accuracy
  • High humidity resistance
  • Non-settling formulation
  • Fully developed and tested build styles
  • Bluestone parts resist deformation even under heavy loads
  • Resists temperatures up to 250 °C, making it suitable for tooling or other demanding applications
  • Part retain their properties over time
  • No expensive mixing equipment required
  • Consistent mechanical properties, even on long builds
  • Appropriate for windtunnel, soft tooling, injection mold tooling
  • Maximize reliability with no user R&D

Application Examples:

  • Wind-tunnel testing for the motorsports and aerospace industries
  • Production of CMM/inspection and assembly jigs and fixtures
  • Lighting design and other applications where heat-generation from electrical components may be a factor
  • Covers and enclosures of electrical and mechanical components
  • Water-handling products, such as pump and impeller design or other components
  • Automotive “under-the-hood” applications
  • Housings and enclosures that require high stiffness and rigidity, such as those for business machines
  • Electronic applications, such as insulating components, connectors, adaptor fittings, bases, sockets, and areas where ceramics might be used

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