SLA is the 3D printing technology that provides the greatest dimensional accuracy, with the highest resolution and tightest tolerances. In SLA technology, models and prototypes are built up layer by layer from your 3D files.
The technology is suitable for functional models that need high precision, visual models, and as a master for the production of silicone moulds. 

SLA is the oldest of all 3D printing technologies

SLA technology was invented as early as the 1980s. The model is built up by a laser beam striking the surface of a liquid epoxy resin, which hardens wherever the laser strikes it. The hardened layer is then lowered by 0.1 mm and a scraper applies new material to the surface. The laser then makes another pass, hardening the surface and penetrating into the layer underneath, and thus builds the model layer by layer until it’s completed.  

Machine size: 600 x 600 x 400 mm

Normal delivery time: 2-4 days

Minimum wall thickness: 0.3 mm

Layer thickness: 0.05-0.1 mm

The pros and cons of SLA


  • High precision and tight tolerances
  • Builds high-resolution parts with sharp corners and clear design lines
  • Possible to build thin walls all the way down to 0.3 mm (very sensitive, however)
  • Can be used as a master to create a silicone mould
  • Repeatability
  • Easy to sand, and you get a nice surface finish if you blast clean the model.
  • Can be polished and given a clear lacquered coating for transparency, for use as headlight glass or light guides for example
  • Stronger than expected 


  • Limited heat resistance
  • Can be sensitive to negligent production processes
  • Transparent parts yellow over time

How SLA technology works

It all starts with a steel brim. The first step in the process is that you build a kind of support on the steel brim itself, or scaffold as it’s called. 
The first support layers reach about 6 mm high before the model starts to be built. This support then bears the model itself, which is built layer by layer.

Once the process is completed, the model is washed in alcohol. This is done in several steps to clean it thoroughly. After washing, the model is placed in a UV curing oven to achieve the right characteristics. 

Dimensional tolerances: min. ± 0.1 mm and ± 0.15%. Tighter tolerances by separate agreement.

The minimum wall thickness on x/y is 0.25 mm. The minimum wall thickness on z is 0.4 mm.

It’s possible to thread the plastic directly.  We also have the possibility of putting threaded inserts into your models to obtain longer-lasting threads.

Polishing levels

Unless otherwise agreed, our models are delivered to Polyshape’s “standard”

  • Verification of 3D database models and file repair if necessary
  • Layout configuration and preparation of model for printing in machine
  • Model oriented for best results
  • Removal of support from the model
  • Cleaning and verification of the model
  • Visual part inspection and control measurement
  • Polishing of support surfaces
  • Blast cleaning of model
  • Delivery by agreement

Technical data

If you want more technical information, please download our data sheet.