Rapid Prototypes Using Stereolithography ( SLA )
PERIDOT's primary rapid prototyping method is stereolithography (SLA), which uses UV energy to cure a liquid resin into plastic, producing prototypes very quickly with an additive process. The SLA machine dissects your design file into thin layers (typically 0.004" - 0.006") and scans each layer in a vat of resin.
This solid imaging process closely parallels that of a laser printer. Just as a printer directs a laser to print ink line by line, in SLA, a computer directs a UV laser to solidify photosensitive polymer layer upon layer to produce a physical object. After each layer is complete, the platform lowers into the vat of resin to re-wet the surface and the laser hardens the next layer. Upon build completion, the part is then cleaned and cured. The SLA process appears magical, as a three-dimensional physical object slowly forms, bottom to top, from a pool of liquid resin.
With the vast experience base of PERIDOT's rapid prototyping team, our stereolithpgraphy machines and materials produce highly accurate parts with very good surface finish. And with today's material technology, SLA parts are more flexible, durable, and resistant to various environmental conditions, thus suitable for a wide range of applications. Our SLA machines operate in a separate, temperature controlled area of our facility.
SLA Model Finish Levels
Grade B – includes part cleaning, support removal, and two levels of wet sanding to remove ~75% of the layer lines. The final step is either a bead blast or a clear coat for a “translucent” part. This is our standard finish.
Grade B Tinted – same as “Grade B” finish, except the final step is the application of a colored tint. This results in a semi-translucent part colored red, blue, green, amber, or yellow.
Grade A/B – includes part cleaning, support removal, and three levels of wet sanding on the exterior surfaces to remove ~95% of the layer lines, and two levels of wet sanding on the interior surfaces to remove ~75% of the layer lines. The final step is either a bead blast or clear coat.
Grade A - includes part cleaning, support removal, and three levels of wet sanding to remove ~95% of the layer lines followed by a bead blast or a clear coat for a “translucent” part.
Primer or Painted Finish – any of the above finish levels can be primed and/or painted.
The rapid prototyping specialists at PERIDOT can guide you through the choices to select the material which has the best properties to meet your requirements. In addition to our BLUESTONE™ material, we also utilize epoxy materials to produce accurate, optically clear parts. Epoxy based resins produce better accuracy when building large parts since it cures more completely and does not warp or curl during final curing. Other materials are also available, including Accura® 25 and general purpose SLA resins; ask us about the right stereolithography material for your rapid prototyping application.
As a flexible engineering service bureau, PERIDOT offers unique customer service and new and creative ideas. We can also provide secondary operations on your RP model such as light machining, assembly or incorporating last minute design changes. Contact us today for a custom quotation on the manufacturing solution that will meet your exact needs.