SLA 3D Printing Service

SLA, or Stereolithography, is a type of 3D printing technology that uses a light source (typically a laser) to cure liquid resin layer by layer, solidifying it into a desired 3D object.

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Two of the UK’s largest 3D printers

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Custom parts delivered in days

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Ideal for low volume production and rapid prototyping

Get Your Quick & Easy Project Quote Today

Benefits of SLA Printing

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Smooth Surface Finish

SLA prints have a smooth surface finish that requires minimal post-processing. This is because the resin is cured layer by layer, resulting in a seamless finish. We can also sand, paint and tint 3D models.

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High Resolution

With a scanning resolution of within 1 micron, SLA parts are highly accurate. The Ultra Hi-res mode utilises the lasers extremely small spot size of just 0.075mm.

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Complex Geometrics

SLA printing can create complex geometries that would be difficult or impossible to produce with other 3D printing methods. This is because the laser can cure the resin in any shape, creating intricate details.

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Various Options

There is a wide variety of resins available for SLA printing, with different properties such as strength, flexibility, and biocompatibility. Our materials are extremely durable making them excellent for snap fits.

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Virtually Optically Clear Parts

We have mastered virtually optically clear parts from our Stereolithography machines, to help you see inside your assembly.

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Made in Hours

We can help with last minute projects and offer a fast turnaround. High quality SLA parts can be printed in a matter of hours.

SLA 3D Printing Applications

SLA 3D printing has many applications including:

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Water clear models including lenses and light-guides

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Masters for vacuum casting

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Mold shells for metal casting

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Functional assemblies

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Wind tunnel models

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Health items (dental, surgery, medicine, etc.)

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Master patterns for polyurethane castings

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Aesthetic & conceptual models

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Parts requiring crisp detail and accuracy

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Quickcast™ investment “wax” patterns

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Design evaluation models

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Clear Flow analysis models

Get a Quote for SLA Parts

Getting a quote for SLA printed parts is easy! Simply upload your 3D model file and receive a quote in minutes. We can also help with CAD drawings.

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SLA for Large Parts

MNL boasts two of the UK’s largest resin 3D printers, producing exceptional quality large parts with super-fast turnaround times. Our NEO800 systems offer intricate detail and smooth sidewalls thanks to 1-micron scanning resolution and a variable spot-size laser. The spot-size laser goes small for intricate detail on the boundaries of parts and then it goes larger for filling in the rest of the section. As a result, we can produce intricate parts and reduce finishing times by up to 50%.

Why Malcolm Nicholls?

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UK Based

With headquarters in the Midlands, we can deliver your 3D parts nationally.

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Years of Expertise

We are a family run business with decades of experience.

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Finished to Perfection

A team of traditional model makers in house to give your 3D print the wow factor.

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More Than Just 3D Printing

With our suite of machines and technology we also specialise in low-volume manufacturing, Vacuum Casting, CNC Machining and more.

Virtually optically clear SLA 3D printed parts?

Our team of 3D printing experts have mastered virtually optically clear parts from our Stereolithography machines, we can help you see inside your assembly, utilised by many of our clients for flow testing and analysis as well as replicating glass for many designs. Glass like SLAs can be achieved with MNL not just for lenses and lighting based components.

Post Processing & Finishing

Post-processing your SLA is critical to get the most out of your 3d print. This multi-step process involves removing excess resin, curing the part for optimal strength, and potentially sanding and finishing for a desired aesthetic.

Depending on your desired outcome, we offer various finishing techniques, like painting or polishing, and we can personalise your creation for specific applications.

Want to know more about our SLA 3D printing service?

Stereolithography services at MNL are some of the most precise in the industry thanks to our top-of-the-line SLA machines. If you are in need of stereolithography prototyping or small production batches quickly and at an affordable cost, then our SLA prototyping services are perfect for you.

650mm Wide Size Bust on a Large SLA Printer

Using the 3D scanned data, MNL were able to produce a full size bust of Mr Cadbury using one of MNL’s large frame 3D print machines called Stereolithography (SLA).

Wind Tunnel Model for High Speed Aerodynamic Testing

The use of SLA enables the manufacture of high fidelity models which can readily incorporate the instrumentation necessary to assess the design.

Trusted by Industry Leaders

We have experience creating exceptional 3D printed parts for leaders across various industries. From automotive and aerospace to point of sale and packaging, we can help.

Which 3D Printing Service do I need?

Learn more about the different options we offer.

SLA

Stereolithography (SLA) also often referred to as SLA is the most widely used resin 3D printing technology. it is generally considered to provide the greatest accuracy and best surface finish of any prototyping or 3D printing process.

SLS

SLS can build functional parts, casting patterns and tooling inserts from your 3D CAD data. Our HiQ Sinterstation system (SLS 3D Printing machine) represents the future of Instant Manufacturing Technology.

FDM

Manufacturing FDM known as fused deposition modelling is the most widely available form of 3d printing. It is an additive manufacturing technology that selectively deposits molten plastic to build parts layer by layer.

Our SLA Machines & Materials

We are home to two of the largest 3D printers in the UK! Our Neo 800 has an impressive 800 x 800 x 600m build capacity. Whereas most other stereolithography companies with SLA 3D Printing machines require large parts to be built in sections, we can build parts without the need for cutting. Therefore, parts are built quicker, finishing is streamlined and is cost-effective.

The materials we use for our SLA printing are Somos Watershed and Taurus.

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Order 3D Printed Parts

Getting a quote for your 3D printing project has never been easier. We offer three straightforward options to meet your needs.

Option One – Perfect for those seeking a swift and hassle-free 3D printing quote.

Option Two – If your project requires more than just printing, option two is your go-to choice, where we can provide quotes for CNC machining, surface finishing, vacuum forming, and vacuum casting for your 3D parts.

Option Three – For large, complex, intricate, or multi-part projects, look no further than option three. Give us a call, and our team will be more than happy to assist you in bringing your vision to life.

At Malcolm Nicholls Ltd, we make quoting fast, easy, and simple.

Being Clear About SLA Manufacturing

Transparent 3D printed parts allow you to see inside your assembly with a clear vision of your housing. The level of transparency required will depend on your application and budget. We offer transparent 3D printing services using our SLA machines.

Expert Finishing of 3D Printed SLA Produced the Desired Product

We’re often asked…

What is SLA 3D Printing & Stereolithography?

Stereolithography (SLA) also often referred to as SLA is the most widely used resin 3D printing technology and it is generally considered to provide the greatest accuracy and best surface finish of any prototyping or 3D printing process.

Stereolithography is an industrial 3D printing process used to create concept models, complex or even very intricate parts. It is a popular choice as many parts can be built in just a day! With MNL’s secondary finishing services such as painting and finishing we can make your part and the details within it really stand out.

How does SLA printing work?

A computer controlled UV laser beam scans across the surface of a vat of photosensitive resin that instantly turns the liquid to solid wherever it touches. Successive layers or slices of cured resin are gradually built up into a solid version of the intended CAD model until your part is complete.

Newly built parts are taken out of the SLA machine and taken into our processing room where solvents are used to remove any additional resins. The additional resin will all be removed so we can then remove any support structures manually. After the supports and all the resin has been removed the majority of parts will undergo a UV-curing cycle to fully solidify the outer surface of the part. If the part is a clear 3D printed part we will leave it to dry naturally.

The final step in the SLA 3D printing process is the application of any specified finishing touches such as metalising, painting, flocking or additional vinyls.

What does SLA mean in 3D printing?
SLA stands for Stereolithography, and it’s a widely used 3D printing technology known for its high accuracy, smooth surface finish, and ability to create complex geometries. In SLA printing, a laser beam selectively cures liquid resin layer by layer, solidifying it into the desired 3D object.
Why choose to do your 3D printing via SLA?

Stereolithography or SLA is also an excellent choice for rapid prototyping and projects requiring the production of very accurate and finely detailed parts. Stereolithography prototyping is ideal for creating parts to demonstrate and validate concept ideas and ergonomic testing.

What steps are involved in SLA post processing?
Post-processing your SLA aids strength, durability and dimensional stability. The steps involved are:

  • Washing Away Unwanted Resin: First, a bath in a solvent like isopropyl alcohol gently removes uncured resin clinging to the surface, ensuring precise details and smooth textures.
  • Support Removal: Carefully removing the temporary support structures that held the part during the 3D printing process.
  • Curing for Strength: Under a UV light or heat, the remaining resin undergoes a polymerisation process, transforming from a liquid state to a solid plastic, maximising your part’s durability and dimensional stability.
  • Sanding and prep: If you have opted for a finished SLA (not a straight off the printer option) we will sand and prep your part. Sanding smooths out any surface imperfections
  • Finishing (Optional): Depending on your desired outcome, we offer various finishing techniques, like painting or polishing, and we can personalise your creation for specific applications.

Post-processing plays a role in various 3D printing methods, though the specific steps and materials involved may differ. FDM (fused deposition modelling) and SLS (selective laser sintering) might involve post-curing and minimal finishing due to their inherent strength. Ultimately, the post-processing approach depends on the chosen technology, material, and desired outcome.

What is the difference between SLA and DLP 3D printing?
Both SLA and DLP are resin-based 3D printing technologies, but they differ in their light source and curing process. SLA uses a focused laser beam that scans the resin vat layer by layer, selectively curing the desired areas. Whereas DLP employs a digital projector that shines a masked image onto the entire resin vat at once, curing the entire layer simultaneously.

SLA offers high resolution and detail, and is ideal for intricate designs. DLP is faster for large prints, or for multiple identical parts. However, DLP has a slightly lower resolution.

Are SLA prints stronger than FDM?
FDM printed parts are generally stronger than SLA printed parts due to the wider range of materials available and the ability to print with infill for internal support. However, specialised SLA resins can achieve high strength, and SLA printing offers superior resolution and smoother surface finish. The best choice for you depends on your specific needs and priorities, such as the strength requirement, desired detail, budget, and desired surface finish.
What are the drawbacks of SLA printing?

While SLA printing excels in precision and detail, parts made with it can be less robust compared to methods like FDM.

If your prototype needs to handle significant physical stress or impact, FDM might be a better choice for its durability. For early-stage, non-functional prototypes where precise details and aesthetics are paramount, SLA’s strength limitations might be acceptable.

Is SLA 3D printing expensive?
The affordability of SLA depends on your specific needs and budget. SLA can be more expensive than other 3D printing methods because of the materials used and the post processing involved.
When can my parts be delivered?
We pride ourselves on the fast turnaround of projects. SLA parts can be delivered in a matter of days.

Get in touch

Address

Waterloo Industrial Estate, Waterloo Cres, Bidford-on-Avon, B50 4JH

Call Us

01789 490382

Email Us

quotes@mnl.co.uk