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). This method of 3D printing was chosen for its combination of achieving the finest detail and accuracy/surface finish. The model could be built on one rather than in sections.
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Wind Tunnel Model for High Speed Aerodynamic Testing, Tested at Mach 5 The use of SLA enables the manufacture of high fidelity models which can readily incorporate the instrumentation necessary to assess the design. This image reveals the extensive use of pressure taps to measure the pressure inside the intake, a key measure of performance.
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Extreme Close Up Showing Build Layers, 0.05mm on the Ultra High Res The ultra high res SLA capabilities include minute feature sizes produced by a 0.075mm laser beam. This small diameter spot size produces extremely detailed and crisp features. 0.05mm layers produce smooth layering with minimal stair-stepping.
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Exampes of some of the Different Finishes Achievable with SLA Technology MNL's skilled model making team can enhance any of the clear material SLA parts. combinations of sanding, polishing and lacquering can produce various results ...
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SLA 3D Printing Services

About SLA 3D Printing & Stereolithography for Prototyping

Stereolithography or “SLA 3D Printing”, is the most widely used 3D Printing / rapid prototyping technology.  It is generally considered to provide the greatest accuracy and best surface finish of any prototyping / 3D printing process.

A computer controlled UV laserbeam scans across the surface of a vat of photosensitive resin instantly turning liquid to solid wherever it touches. Succesive layers or slices of cured resin are gradually built up into a solid version of the intended CAD model.

Applications of SLA 3D Printing

  • Master patterns for polyurethane castings.
  • Aesthetic & conceptual models.
  • Parts requiring crisp detail and accuracy.
  • Quickcast™ investment “wax” patterns.
  • Design evaluation models.
  • Clear Flow analysis models.
  • Waterclear models including lenses and light-guides.

Inside an SLA machine during a build

A short 2 min video of a 15 hour build of a piece of art being built on a large format SLA machine at MNL.

Benefits of SLA

  • SLA has a high resolution.
  • Often sanded, painted, & tinted.
  • Prototypes can be made in a matter of hours.
  • Extremely durable material making it excellent for snap fits.
  • MNL’s machines have a maximum build capacity 800 x 800 x 600mm.
  • Ultra Hi-res mode utilises the lasers extremely small spot size of just 0.075mm.
  • Offers the best surface finish for additional finishing.

Levels of Clarity in SLA 3D Printed Parts

Exploring the differing levels of clarity that can be achieved on the SLA machines at MNL.


Being Clear About SLA

Not just used for lenses and lighting based components.
See inside your assembly with a clear version of your housing.
But how clear do you need it, or how much will it cost?

An excellent illustration of examples and uses of making SLA parts in clear materials

Examples of Projects involving SLA 3D Printed Parts

Triscan Fuel Pump Advertising Nozzle

  When approached by the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of fuel management systems, the challenge was to create a prototype durable enough to withstand the rigours of fuel such as diesel or petrol and...

Thiery Mugler Stars

This Paris based fashion brand was launched in 1973 by designer Thierry Mugler. The Thierry Mugler brand is evolving its identity in retail as they set to unify their fragrance lines under one single brand name and...

Polar Watches Display Units

Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) produced an extensive array of point of sale display units, utilising a wide variety of process that MNL has to offer. For most of the clear components, these were 3D printed using MNL’s...

Wrigleys Gum Display Cabinets

Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) were approached by a POS design company to produce prototypes that emulated there design challenges such as durability for in store trials and uniqueness of the product display units....

Alexander McQueen Oversized Perfume Bottle

Every element of the McQueen experience is hand-crafted and meticulous - as demonstrated by the beauty of the beguiling fragrance flacon. An object d’art, intricate antique gold feathers - a...

Childs Plate

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SATCase Mobile Phone Converter

SATcase™ is a revolutionary device that transforms the common smartphone into a sophisticated satellite phone. After placing their smartphone into a durable, ruggedized case and installing the SATcase™ application, users can...

Razor Handles

Certain projects have been selected from MNL’s Rich History, this one comes from 2008: First launched in 2008, the Azor 4-Blade System Razor from King of Shaves was the first British designed system razor for over 100...

Earlex Steam Cleaner

Certain projects have been selected from MNL’s Rich History, this one comes from 2002: Steam cleaning allows you to deep clean and disinfect without the use of chemicals or abrasive materials. A diverse steam...

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Technical Section

SLA Machine Sizes at MNL

SLA Machine Sizes at MNL

Available Materials

Available Materials