If you ever caught yourself asking what is a SLA printer, don’t worry as you are not alone. An SLA 3D printer or also known as a resin printer is the second most popular type of 3D printer. This might be changing as 2017 was a big year for SLA printers. FDM printers might be slipping to the 2nd position in 2018.
SLA printer use a completely different kind of method to create 3D objects. Remember the movie Terminator 2 and how the bad guy was made of liquid? Yeah this is literally that technology. No Joke.
How Does a SLA 3D Printer Work
Watching an SLA printer in action quite as fun. As everything happens ‘under the resin’. Unlike and FDM Printer where things are created in layers, in SLA or Stereolithography printing, the object is created from a resin (liquid). This happens when a built in laser is pointed towards the resin from various angles that “cures” it and in turn, you literally pulled out the 3d printed object you wanted in the first place.
That’s why the products come out upside down as they are created while “dipped in” the resin.
Although both technologies are great, if you are looking for more quality, SLA takes the cake there. After all, a laser will always be more accurate than a nozzle moving horizontally and vertically. As I always say, it all depends on what you want to create. If you are just getting started, FDM is where it’s at.
If you want to get a little deeper into 3d printing, than SLA is a great direction to head in. Another way of looking at it is FDM printers are used to create prototypes and working parts for more mechanical applications. SLA printers come in handy for jewellers and dentists.
Now let’s put on our nerd glasses and see how this SLA technology really works:
- You pour resin inside your 3D printer tray (Since this is where your object is created from).
- Upload your design to a sla 3d printer software which usually comes with a printer (Make sure to add supports).
- Press the go button.
- Wait till it’s done.
Yup it’s really as simple as that. Plus the quality is awesome. The only downside to SLA printing is you can’t print in multi colors. That option is only available in a handful of FDM printers anyways. Also because of the UV curing process, SLA seems to be more expensive then FDM printers. That said a new company called WOW just released a quality yet cheap sla printer called SparkMaker SLA Printer. Also, don’t forget about the Bean sla printer that is already making some big waves.
So things are definitely looking on the up and up. Especially if you keep your eye on what’s happening on kickstarter. The FDM vs SLA battle continues . . .
One a side note, make sure you are wearing gloves when pouring resin though. Resin is VERY sticky on these stereolithography sla 3d printers and toxic as well.
Think maple syrup like.
Hope you like our review on the following 3D printers available today.
Wanhao Duplicator 7 UV Resin is small and lightweight. Uses vat photo Polymerization 3D printing technology.
Selectively cures liquid resin one layer at a time to build the item. Completely enclosed machine body for form insulation. Creation workshop software is included which gives the user unparalleled control of the process.
HDMI input. Does not come ready to print, assembly is required. Compatible with most of the resin materials that can be purchased separately. Printing process is straightforward with no unnecessary steps.
The XYZPrinting Nobel uses advanced stereo lithography 3D printing technology for accurate items. UV lasers are built in. There is a resin system that automatically refills.
Build platform is larger for more sizable models. Take your creativity and models to the next level. Detail sculpted accuracy. On the higher price point with impressive consumer experiences to back it up.
Both jewelry designs to architectural models have been the catalyst to some enamoring and complex ideas on this multi faceted machine.
Ideal for models with high external and internal complexity.
The high precision, fast printing Nova 3D UV light printer is small and relatively compact for what it can do. It’s incredibly quick and only takes 5-15 seconds to print each layer of the model.
There are many types of designs that can be used in this machine. Endless possibilities of crafts, jewelry or animation characters.
User friendly with connectivity options via Wifi, cable and also comes with a remote control for quick changes.
Top of the line accuracy as 0.02 mm. Single board computer can be used to control settings.
Draken Complete Resin 3D Printer is in a league all its own. On the higher price point scale, you get what you pay for and then some.
A serious investment for the seriously creative and ambitious. Superior Acer DLP projector to eliminate any laser flare or flash back.
Also helps to mitigate any potential laser aging issues.
A bottom-up SLA configuration that imbues the printing with the most pristine outlays. Can print 10mic.
Castable resin is most compatible.
Micromake SLA Printer that works with wax, casting and UV resin is relatively new and is used for items
ranging from dentistry to jewelry. Doesn’t require projector. Creation Workshop software and manual are
included. Needs to be hooked up to computer that supports 2560 x 1140 resolution. Print speed is impressive at 5
seconds per layer. 5.5 inch screen. Two separate models are available. One that requires use of the raspberry pi
digital software. Technical support is available.
SLA vs DLP
Just like there is FFF and FDM, in the laser / curing world of 3d printing, we have SLA and DLP. SLA being the more popular one and DLP tagging along when convenient.