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Design considerations for SLA 3D printing

Background
Stereolithography 3D printing is a processing technique that is utilized in developing prototypes, models, and parts production layer after layer through a photo-chemical process. Monomers are often cross-linked together to create superior polymers. SLA processing has gained popularity over the years for producing parts with high precision and an excellent surface finish. It is considered the most cost-effective hence economically viable for the manufacturing of components. SLA 3D printing has helped professionals in optimizing production, cutting down on cost and manufacture of high-quality industrial parts. This article aims to provide designers with a profound decision-making background to the creation of quality products by employing SLA 3D printing.

SLA 3D printing Process
SLA 3D printing is considered an additive form of manufacturing that produces parts through focusing a beam of UV laser light on a given polymer resin. The process commences by first creating a virtual part design of the object intended to be manufactured by using either a computer-aided design (CAD) program or by scanning the object and integrating it into a 3D modeling program. At this stage, a UV laser is utilized to develop the desired shape on the polymer surface.  By the UV sensitivity of the photometers, the resin material is solidified photochemically to produce the first layer of the required part. The same process is repeated to form the other layers of the 3D object.

Design consideration for SLA 3D printing
In SLA 3D manufacturing, designers often have the freedom creating of parts. Nevertheless, a particular approach is required while designing components for SLA 3D printing to produce products of high quality. As such, designers should have a vast knowledge of the requirements to create such products to ensure customer satisfaction. In this section, a brief guideline is provided.
SLA 3D printers often have a reduced build volume except for industrial machines. Designers should consider the standard optimum size of the print of about 14.5 cubic centimeters. For larger pieces, it is recommended for designers to develop smaller sections, which are then assembled after printing.
Part manufactured using SLA printing requires post-curing. For this reason, designers should consider the optimum thickness of the part based on its use for adequate curing. This will save on cost since the cost of resin is relatively expensive.
When designing for embossed or engraved regions of the parts, designers should provide a considerable hole tolerance of about 0.5 mm to ensure that materials removed come outs out through these holes with ease.
SLA 3D printing using utilize mirrors to control the lasers. As such, following the rotation of these mirrors, the laser tends to be a bit ovoid, which may harm the accuracy of the printer. Designers should, therefore, provide fine details for the parts they create to produce quality parts.
Material functionality and versatility is another factor of consideration.depending on the part intended to be created, designers should recommend correct resin configuration to produce parts with required mechanical properties.


Conclusion
In conclusion, SLA 3D printing is an excellent additive manufacturing process that has the capability of creating high-quality products. It is not only economically viable but also environmentally friendly. Designers need to be careful while creating 3D models for successful 3D printing using SLA manufacturing.

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