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May 8, 2014

Stereolithography (SL / SLA) icon

Stereolithography (also known as SLA or SL) builds parts layer by layer using a UV laser to solidify liquid photopolymer resins. SLA is commonly used to produce concept models, master patterns, large prototypes and investment casting patterns.

SLA can be built in Standard Definition 0.5mm (0.02 inches) in the X/Y axis and 0.13mm (0.005 inches) in the Z axis or High Definition 0.25mm (0.01 inches) in the X/Y axis and 0.13mm (0.005 inches) in the Z axis.

Stereolithography rapidly builds components using a precise UV laser to cure and solidify thin layers of a photo-reactive resin. One of the most accurate 3D printing technologies, SL is ideal for concept models, form and fit studies, and investment casting patterns. We offer a suite of professional finishing options to achieve a high-quality surface finish. In addition, we can join multiple sections of a part design quickly and seamlessly to create large parts and prototypes.

Benefits of Stereolithography


Large Geometries

Don’t sacrifice accuracy for size. Stereolithography offers virtually limitless part size. We will seamlessly bond individual sections into industrial sized patterns.

Wistia video thumbnail - Stereolithography (SL / SLA)Finishing Options

Your parts will be delivered on time and ready for immediate integration with our complete suite of finishing services. Backed by expert painters and technicians with years of experience, we offer hand finishing, texture, non-cosmetic and cosmetic paint, as well as EMI and RFI shielding and plating options.

Stereolithography (SL) Applications


SL is often used for prototypes or large concept models that require coatings or finished surfaces and smooth master patterns.

Stereolithography investment casting pattern
  • Common applications include:
  • Anatomical models
  • Lightweight concept models
  • Architectural models
  • Urethane casting patterns
  • Large investment cast patterns

Investment Casting Patterns (Similar to the QuickCast process)

Successful investment casting depends on the prompt delivery of high-quality patterns with clean burnout properties. We have developed a proprietary photopolymer combined with a build style that produces mostly hollow, accurate, strong, aerated and consistent patterns that result in better burnout and more lightweight patterns. Our finishing options are matched to each foundry’s specifications. SL investment cast patterns produce fully drained, completely sealed, and significantly lighter patterns when compared to wax. Learn more about investment casting patterns

ID-Light SL

Build extremely light, large-scale parts in record time with Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s exclusive ID-Light process. Ideal for concept modeling, prototyping, and creating master patterns, ID-Light is available in both SL and FDM technologies. ID-Light FDM is best for strength, while ID-Light SL is best for cosmetic applications. Learn more about ID-Light

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