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Comparing the Plastic 3D Printing Technologies: SLA Vs. SLS

Release time:2023-08-28

Comparing the Plastic 3D Printing Technologies:

When you’re in the process of searching for a
3D printing service,you’ll inevitably encounter
various technologies, with prominentoptions being
selective laser sintering and stereolithography. These
two methods possess distinct characteristics that can
profoundlyinfluence the trajectory of your project,
regardless of whetherit’s intended for prototyping or
producing a final functional part.Eventually, you’ll need
to decide between opting forstereolithography (SLA) or
 selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing 
service. Here’s a comprehensive guide that compares these technologies
to help you determine the optimal choice for your specific project requirements.

The basics

Stereolithography (SLA) involves a liquid resin for printing custom parts, and the material is cured until it
It’s a widely used online 3D printing service for building aesthetic models or parts for showing during
pitches, marketing studies, and other similar applications. This 3D printing technology requires support
while printing, but these are manually removed during post-processing.

On the other hand, selective laser sintering is a powder bed fusion process that uses a high-power laser to
sinter every layer of a part with a bed of powdered nylon. After sintering one layer, a roller provides the next
layer of powder, and the process repeats until the part is complete. No support structures are involved in an
 SLS 3D printing service, and the process makes it possible to make complex parts with overhangs.
Additionally, it can achieve strong and functional parts that can do well in high-stress applications.

What are your requirements?

When choosing between SLA and SLS 3D printing, always think about the application. SLA is best for
making cosmetic prototypes requiring intricate details, outstanding dimensional accuracy, and a smooth
surface finish. It can also achieve large parts. However, if durability is a critical factor, SLS can be a more
suitable option.

It also helps to identify the materials necessary for the project. SLA can build parts from plastics with
similar properties to ABS, polycarbonate, and polypropylene. Meanwhile, SLS uses powdered nylon (PA12)
or glass-filled nylon.

Get advice from professionals.

Still unsure about using SLA or an SLS 3D printing service? Consult our experts here at Vowin Prototypes
for a free project review. We also offer other 3D printing technologies and other manufacturing solutions
like CNC' target='_blank'>machining and vacuum casting.

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