The past few years have created incredible advances in today’s modern 3D printing technology, with much of the excitement happening in photopolymerization and resin applications. This technology offers the benefits of high resolution, excellent surface finish, and incredible accuracy. From creating finely-detailed prototypes to making works of art, those working within this niche have several options to choose from when determining the best way to product accurate results.
Two such printing tech options, SLA and DLP, are often touted as the go-to technology for resin applications and have changed the landscape for healthcare, medical device industries, and consumer goods.
What is the difference between SLA and DLP 3D printers? First, it’s helpful to know the needs that those working with resin have. Since they work with very fine printed parts and prototypes, they require a printer that can print in high accuracy without accidental gaps that water or air can get into. Part size will range, as well, with some of the creations of a minute scale that would be hard for us to fully realize with the naked eye.
Resin 3D printing looks similar between SLA and DLP methods; they both use a vat setup and a light source to stabilize the liquid resin layers to build up and eventually form the product. This entire category of resin printing is known as “vat photopolymerization.” That’s where their similarities end, however.
While they use the same basic principle to create a product, the main distinction is the light source used. Here is a breakdown to help you decide between the two.