Companies are constantly on the lookout for cost-effective ways to improve and streamline their business processes. In fact, to open doors to more opportunities, 3D printing tools are increasingly adopted by many companies across a wide range of industries in Malaysia.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is essentially the conversion of a digital model into a physical product by layering of materials to form the final object. In this article, we will be focusing on the first ever invented 3D printing process called Stereolithography, which is short for SLA or commonly known as SLA 3D Printing. If you have heard of SLA 3D printing as a service and want to learn more, continue scrolling to find out how your business can benefit from this manufacturing technique.
What is SLA 3D Printing?
For starters, SLA 3D printing technology is a popular additive manufacturing technique and sought-after service in Malaysia and across the globe. By employing any CAD software or data of a designed model, the 3D printable file format will be read as a digital model by the SLA 3D printers. The desired 3D product is then formed through the use of a laser to harden a photosensitive liquid resin. Here are some benefits of incorporating SLA printing into your product development process:
1. Make accurate, precise parts within hours
As the oldest form of 3D printing, SLA printing works through a fine laser beam that can be as fine as 0.05mm. This technology is done layer by layer, so you can expect higher precision and more intricate details in the finished products. The end products usually feature smooth finishing without fine lines, unlike another common 3D printing process called FDM. On that note, SLA 3D printing is especially useful in producing complex geometric shapes.
2. Create prototypes that can function as the final products
At present, traditional manufacturing processes such as injection moulding require you to first create a mould before you can progress and this takes some time. You may be relying on the same process for your prototypes as well. This delays your product development process as a result. Yet, as prototyping plays a fundamental role in the product development process, it is a stage that cannot be compromised. With SLA 3D printing, you can create usable prototypes that function as the final products, accomplished in a short amount of time. Besides a high dimensional accuracy and smooth finish, you have a wide range of finishing options.
Take note that different resins vary in toughness, some of which may degrade when exposed under the sun. With that in mind, ensure you select the right type of resin if you require a stronger and more durable product.
3. Optimise the otherwise time-consuming production processes
While injection moulding is a more ideal alternative for producing parts in large volumes, this can come as an inconvenience for one-off prototype designs. If you have been struggling with meeting deadlines with your existing production processes, not only does SLA 3D printing guarantee faster build times, it is also the ideal technology for small production runs depending on your application as there are many industrial resins available which provide great engineering properties as final use.
4. Wide range of materials
There are a variety of materials available for you to choose from in SLA 3D printing services to achieve your desired look for your product prototype. This includes GP Plus (white resin), Somos Watershed XC 11122 (clear resin), Taurus, EvoLVe and NeXt.
With these four key benefits, SLA 3D printing is ideal for many applications. For businesses doing manufacturing in industries such as Industrial Design in Consumer Goods and Medical, this technology will streamline the workflow and generate significant savings. Offering great future prospects, SLA 3D printing will ultimately change the way businesses do prototyping and modernise business models as it becomes more mainstream.
Before you decide to take the SLA printing endeavour in-house, consider outsourcing this manufacturing process. Why so? Simply because outsourcing eliminates the need for heavy initial investments in machinery or training. At the same time, you also get instant access to industry experts who will be able to better advise you.
Expert3D is confident is helping clients with all prototyping and manufacturing needs, whether it is SLA 3D printing or other processes such as FDM, SLS and MJF. We pride ourselves in high quality 3D printing with excellent customer service. If you require a free consultation, feel free to email or WhatsApp us today!