Phone: 630.483.3875

Stereolithography Frequently Asked Questions

Stereolithography (SLA) Finishes


What are the minimum feature sizes using stereolithography?

  • Because of the use of a laser beam with a diameter of 0.006", we can consistently build features with 0.010" wall sections.

What are the stereolithography (SLA) model tolerances?

  • +/- 0.001 to 0.002 every inch/inch.  For features less than 1 inch, +/- 0.005 inch

What is the minimum wall thickness that should be used in stereolithography (SLA) models?

  • We've made prototypes/models with a wall thickness of 0.010 inch, however, we recommend a nominal wall thickness of 0.015 inch minimally.

What is the minimal size of raised text and graphics?

  • We recommend raised text to be at least 0.013" tall or recessed.

What types of finishes are available using stereolithography (SLA)?

What colors are available using stereolithography (SLA) models?

  • The natural colors for stereolithography models are typically clear, translucent, or white.  All stereolithography (SLA) models / prototypes can be painted to your choice color.

What sizes of models/prototypes can be built on stereolithography (SLA) machines?

  • Smaller stereolithography machines (SLA-250) accommodate a 10"x10"x10" build envelope
  • Medium stereolithography machines (SLA-500, SLA-5000, SLA-7000) accommodate a 20"x20"x23" build envelope
  • For larger models / prototypes, they can easily be made in parts and assembled after the build.  This enables us not to have limitations on sla model size.

How long does a stereolithography (SLA) prototype / model take to build?

  • Most of our stereolithography (SLA) models / prototypes build within 12 hours.  Build times are determined by the height (z-axis) and the volume of the model being built and the secondary operations required for the finished model / prototype.

Can stereolithography (SLA) models be machined?

  • Yes, stereolithography (SLA) models / prototypes can be drilled, milled, tapped, or put on a lathe.  When machining stereolithography (SLA) model, it should be treated as acrylic.

What are the thermal properties of stereolithography (SLA) models?

  • Most stereolithography (SLA) resins have a heat deflection temperature between 115F to 130oF.

What textures are available using stereolithography (SLA)?

  •   We match our textures to the Mold-Tech, "Visual Texture Standards" book or to provide samples.  If accuracy isn't an issue, then selecting gloss, smooth, light, medium or heavy texture will suffice.

What factors are considered when Scimitar prices stereolithography (SLA) prototypes / models?

  • Overall product dimensions ( x-axis, y-axis, z-axis)
  • Volume
  • Number of parts being created
  • Complexity of model
  • Type of finish

What data formats does Scimitar accept and what is the preferred method of delivery?

  • We prefer .STEP or .IGES file types but we can use some ProEngineer and SolidWorks files as well.  Most data is transmitted via email under 5MB.  For attachments over 5MB, please use a file compression program like WinZip or WinRAR or we can work with an FTP site.