SLA 3D Printing Technology Overview

Stereolithography (SLA) technology was the world’s first 3D printing technology, allowing engineers and designers to produce highly detailed prototypes that require tight tolerances and smooth surfaces. Today, SLA remains a great option for printing parts that will ultimately be painted or coated.

Designers usually use SLA-printed models when a quick built time is crucial to the product development cycle as time and resources can be invested into post-processing and finishing techniques. Great applications for SLA-printed parts include concept models, master patterns, large prototypes and investment casting patterns.



How SLA Works

SLA 3D printing technology works by using a UV laser to cure and solidify fine layers of photopolymer in an open vat.


  1. Pre-Processing: As with all 3D printing processes, SLA begins with a model created using CAD software or 3D scan data. The design is then exported as a readable file for the 3D printer.
  2. Production: A UV laser scans the surface of the resin and selectively curing the material and building the part from the bottom up.
  3. Support Removal: Material is easily removable by hand. The remaining liquid is washed away and the support is removed.

Benefits of SLA 3D Printing

  • Print parts in high resolution and a smooth surface finish directly out the machine
  • Printed parts can be easily cleaned, sanded, polished and painted
  • Create accurate parts with repeatable dimensions. Material properties include heat resistance, biocompatibility- matching properties of engineering plastics
  • Ideal for functional applications such as engineering assemblies and jewelry casting


Print highly detailed prototypes with the world’s first 3D printing technology and our SLA 3D printing services bureau.