What is Stereolithography?
Since manufacturing is cheaper and faster than 3D printers, it is often used to make a master for vacuum cast molds and to produce prototypes suitable for design and shape verification. The lamination method makes it possible to produce products with highly contoured shapes. The process is most commonly used as a support role in manufacturing, given the range of shapes available for supporting products.
*Laminate and support marks can be removed after processing.
Ultra-fast delivery supported, generally taking 3 days!
A 24 hours express delivery service is also available!
Providing prototypes just as depicted in the image with highly precise manufacturing!
Support for aesthetic elements such as transparent plastics and coating.
Possible to integrate with product design!
Leave all the design and 3D modeling processes to us!
- Highly precise and swift creation of shapes exactly from the data.
- High speed molded prototypes with complex shapes.
- Support for large items and laminated strokes more precise than 3D printers.
- Faster and more precise than 3D printers.
- Providing prototypes that are closer to resembling the mass produced product, with surface processing and coating available.
- Possible to greatly reduce delivery time by simultaneously producing multiple products.
- Expect costs to be drastically lower than cutting and other processes.
- No R angle mark arises from blade processing.
Stereolithography Prototype Process
Production begins by configuring the support and angles of the model or molding by the machine based on CAD data. The machine creates the shape by stacking layers one at a time in the shape of the sliced model.
First, a supporting shape is formed to fix and hold the model on the work table. Each time one shape is molded, the work table lowers and the next layer is formed.
The model is then gradually formed. The height per layer can be adjusted to between 0.05 to 0.2 mm, and the speed in which the product is completed changes based on the laminate pitch settings.
When the last layer has been formed, the work table raises, revealing the shaped product. The model is carefully removed from the table, and any adhering plastic is removed. After this, various processing is carried out as necessary.
Features of Plastic Used in Stereolithography
We offer two types of epoxy-type hardening plastic: SCR-735 and TSR-829. SCR-735 is light yellow, and is considered to be cheaper and for more general purpose applications than TSR-829. The heat resistance can be improved by applying an annealing treatment (a heat resistant improvement process). The plastic is hygroscopic, with makes it easy to deform when stored in highly humid areas. TSR-829 is a transparent resin, which makes it suitable for flow path analysis and confirming fit. There is no need to worry about deformation due to humidity, since the plastic is highly moisture resistant. One disadvantage is that it is relatively expensive, and the heat resistance is not increased from annealing treatment.
|Plastic Prodoct Name||SCR-735||TSR-829|
|Tensile Strength (Mps)||45||44|
|Rupture Elongation (％)||6.8||8|
|Tensile Elasticity (Gpa)||2.5||1.6|
|Bending Strength (Mpa)||83||68|
|Flexural Modulus (Gpa)||2.5||1.8|
|Impact Strength (with notch)||29〜33||34|
|Warp Temperature (℃)・High Load||48(90)*||49|
|Hardened Exterior View||Slightly Yellowish Transparency||Transparent|
|Plastic Features||Highly Durable/Highly Heat Resistant||Moisture Resistant|
|Price||Relatively Cheap||Relatively Expensive|
*Values within parentheses are after heat treatment.
**The above specs and physical property values may change without notice.
There are restrictions to the type of plastic that can be used for stereolithography. For those desiring a model with a higher degree of hardness, durability, and heat resistance, we recommend a
vacuum cast or photolithography prototype. Selecting a material that is similar to the final molding material makes highly precise testing possible, and results in an exterior view that is nearly identical to the molded piecE, making exterior shape (design surface) verification possible.
The margin of error with 3D data is kept within ±0.05-0.1 mm (for products with approximately 150 mm corners). However, because optical shaping hardens layer by layer, resin shrinking occurs depending on the size of the cross section. Therefore, there is a tendency for the margin of error to increase as the product’s thickness increases. In addition, whether a vertical or horizontal (X, Y) direction is used during the lamination method tends to affect the margin of error of the height (Z).
The machine can alter height of each laminate layer to between 0.05 to 0.2 mm. The finer the lamination is, the easier it is to express precise shapes, producing a produce with a fine finish. If the pitch is set to the finest setting, processing and shaping time increase, along with price. Furthermore, it tends to be difficult to express shapes when a part within the product is under 0.3 mm.
Possible Production Size
Our stereolithography equipment has a volume of 610 mm x 610 mm x 500 mm (SCR-835), and 600 mm x 600 mm x 200 mm (TSR-829). A single-piece item can be produced as long as it is within this volume. Products with a larger size can be handled through split molding, so please contact us if this is the case.
Types of Post-Processing
Support Removal Processing
Support processing is a finishing process to remove extra remnants that were created during the manufacturing process. If using the piece for shape verification or other simple verification function, this process alone is sufficient, and also keeps the price low.
Laminate Removal Processing
Since stereolithography uses a lamination processing method, a stepped-shape contouring pattern is formed. This laminate needs to be removed if the piece has a sliding structure or high aesthetic properties.
(Gloss, Matte, Grain)
Since the photoresistant plastic cannot be directly colored, those who desire colored plastic will need to have the plastic undergo a coating process. For those desiring a highly transparent product using TSR-829, a clear coating process is required.
Please get in touch with us regarding various processes, such as adhesion, tap and die processing, insert nut application, and more.
For shape/aesthetic verification, design evaluation, 3D touch ups, and presentations.
Development, Planning, Production, Manufacturing Technology
Function verification, performance evaluation, implementation evaluation, visual evaluation, mold verification, production process verification, shorten turnaround time, as master model for casting.
Visualizing affected areas, pre-operative simulators, and for use as an educational resource.
Stereolithography Reference Prices
- : Up to 150 mm x 150 mm x 75 mm
- : Up to t=2 mm
- : Highly durable
- Surface Processing
- : Support removal processing
- Price Estimate
- : Approximately 40,000 yen
- [Stereolithography Estimate Points]
- ・Two of the same model will not double the price. (Additional models will gradually lower in cost)
- ・Though it depends on the model size, if making more than 5-10 pieces, it will be less expensive to make one piece and use it as a master model.
- ・Lowering the Z (longitudinal) direction of the laminate will reduce the molding cost.
- ・Material cost of hollowed out structures will be lower than solid structures.
Commonly Asked Questions
- Is it possible to specify surface processing?
- For surface roughness, it is possible to check one of our company samples ahead of time.
To clarify any other questions, please contact one of our staff members.
- Is secondary processing possible?
- Yes. Tap, die, ream insert, insert nut application, etc. are possible.
Please contact a staff member if you have any other desired processing in mind.
- How is the estimate derived?
- The amount is basically determined on a volume basis, but will change depending on the grade of the finish. Please contact a staff member at time of estimate.
- What methods of cost reduction are there?
- Ordering many pieces at once, reducing the grade of the finish,
and extending the delivery time allow us to consider reducing the costs.
Depending on the size, vacuum casting may be cheaper if making more than three items. Please contact a staff member at time of estimate.