Design Guidelines: Stereolithography

Our basic guidelines for stereolithography include important design considerations to help improve part manufacturability, enhance cosmetic appearance, and reduce overall production time.

Size

Maximum Dimensions

NORMAL RESOLUTION 29 in. x 25 in. x 21 in.
HIGH RESOLUTION 10 in. x 10 in. x 10 in.
MICRO RESOLUTION 5 in. x 5 in. x 2.5 in.
NORMAL RESOLUTION 736mm x 635mm x 533mm
HIGH RESOLUTION 254mm x 254mm x 254mm
MICRO RESOLUTION 127mm x 127mm x 63.5mm

Accuracy

Layer Thickness

NORMAL RESOLUTION 0.004 in.
HIGH RESOLUTION 0.002 in.
MICRO RESOLUTION 0.001 in.
NORMAL RESOLUTION 0.1016mm
HIGH RESOLUTION 0.0508mm
MICRO RESOLUTION 0.0254mm

Minimum Feature Size

NORMAL RESOLUTION 0.010 in. for the XY draw plane (0.016 in. for the Z build direction)
HIGH RESOLUTION 0.005 in. for the XY draw plane (0.016 in. for the Z build direction)
MICRO RESOLUTION 0.0025 in. for the XY draw plane (0.08 in. for the Z build direction)
NORMAL RESOLUTION 0.254mm for the XY draw plane (0.0.406mm for the Z build direction)
HIGH RESOLUTION 0.1016mm for the XY draw plane (0.406mm for the Z build direction)
MICRO RESOLUTION 0.0508mm for the XY draw plane (2.032mm for the Z build direction)

For well-designed parts, tolerances in the X/Y dimension of ±0.002 in. (0.05mm) for first inch plus ±0.001 in./in. (0.001mm/mm), and Z dimension tolerances of ±0.005 in. for first inch plus ±0.001 in./in. (0.001mm/mm), can typically be achieved. Note that tolerances may change depending on part geometry.

applications engineer with stereolithography machines
micro resolution part build with stereolithography

Materials

ABS-LIKE
  • Huntsman RenShape 7820
  • MicroFine Green
  • Somos WaterShed XC 11122
NICKEL-PLATED
  • SLArmor
PC-LIKE
  • 3D Systems Accura 5530
  • 3D Systems Accura 60
  • Somos PerFORM
PP-LIKE
  • Xtreme White 200
  • DSM Somos 9120

VIEW MATERIALS > 

UV laser curving stereolithography part

Surface Finishes

UNFINISHED Dots, or standing"nibs," remain evident on the bottom of the part from the support structure remnants.
NATURAL
Supported surfaces are sanded down to eliminate the support nibs.
STANDARD Supported surfaces are sanded, and the entire part is finely blasted for a consistent look. Note that the layers are still present.
CUSTOM
Soft-touch paint, clear part finishing, painting, masking, color matching, decals/graphic, and texture finished are available.

 

micro resolution stereolithography part

Special Operations

Nickel-Plated SLArmor

Our SLArmor process coats a ceramic-filled PC-like material (DSM Somos NanoTool) with a nickel plating that gives parts the look, feel, and strength of metal, but without the weight. The combination of NanoTool’s strength, rigidity, and temperature resistance with SLArmor’s nickel plating, takes strength, stiffness, and impact and temperature resistance to a degree previously unattainable in SL parts.

Microfluidics

Our microfluidic fabrication process is a modified form of high-resolution SL that uses a clear ABS-like material (WaterShed XC 11122). Parts are resistance to water and humidity, and work well for lens and flow-visualization models.

Custom Finishing

Custom finishing is a mix of science, technology, and fine art that can transform a part to your exact specifications. Finishes include:

  • Soft-touch paint
  • Clear part finishing
  • Paint finishes
  • Masking
  • Color matching
  • Decals/graphic
  • Texture

Equipment

Our stereolithography machines consists of Vipers, ProJets, and iPros. In high-resolution mode, Vipers and ProJets can make parts with extremely tiny features and crisp details, while in normal-resolution mode, they can build cost-effective parts very quickly.

iPros have extremely large build volumes at 29 in. by 25 in. by 21 in. (736mm by 635mm by 533mm), yet are still able to image highly detailed parts easily.

a row of large-format stereolithography machines

applications engineers discuss 3D printing CAD model

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