Stereolithography (SL) is an industrial 3D printing process used to create concept models, cosmetic prototypes, and complex parts with intricate geometries in as fast as 1 day. A wide selection of materials, extremely high feature resolutions, and quality surface finishes are possible with SL.

How Does Stereolithography Work? 

The SL machine begins drawing the layers of the support structures, followed by the part itself, with an ultraviolet laser aimed onto the surface of a liquid thermoset resin. After a layer is imaged on the resin surface, the build platform shifts down and a recoating bar moves across the platform to apply the next layer of resin. The process is repeated layer by layer until the build is complete.

Newly built parts are taken out of machine and into a lab where solvents are used to remove any additional resins. When the parts are completely clean, the support structures are manually removed. From there, parts undergo a UV-curing cycle to fully solidify the outer surface of the part. The final step in the SL process is the application of any custom or customer-specified finishing. Parts built in SL should be used with minimal UV and humidity exposure so they don’t degrade.


1 to 50+ parts

Shipped in 1 to 7 days

Parts starting at $95


Best for:
  • prototyping in production-grade materials
  • functional, end-use parts
  • reducing metal components in an assembly


Stereolithography Materials

We offer numerous material options that are regularly updated to meet prototyping and master fabrication needs. Our thermoplastic-like SL materials include grades of ABS, polycarbonate and polypropylene, along with a durable nickel-coating option. Depending on your part application, a range of characteristics are achievable: resolution, color and clarity, stiffness and feel to durability, impact resistance, temperature tolerance, and water resistance.



Design Guidelines

Our basic guidelines for stereolithography include important design considerations to help improve part manufacturability, enhance cosmetic appearance, and reduce overall production time.



a metal 3D printing technician removes support structures from a DMLS part

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