Difference Between SLA and SLS in Rapid Prototyping

Oct 06 , 2023 | Blog


What Is SLA?

SLA is Stereo Lithography Apparatus. Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process that works by focusing an ultraviolet (UV) laser on a vat of photopolymer resin. With the help of computer-aided manufacturing or computer-aided design(CAD) software, the UV laser is used to draw a pre-programmed design or shape onto the surface of the photopolymer. Photopolymers are sensitive to ultraviolet light, so the resin is photochemically solidified and forms a single layer of the desired 3D object. This process is repeated for each layer of the design until the 3D object is complete. SLA has the advantages of rapid-forming speed, a high degree of automation, forming any complex shape and high dimensional accuracy, and is mainly applied to the rapid prototyping of complex and high-precision fine workpieces.

What Is SLS?

SLS is Selective Laser Sintering. SLS involves the use of a high-power laser (for example, a carbon dioxide laser) to fuse small particles of plastic, metal, ceramic, or glass powders into a mass that has a desired three-dimensional shape. The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3D digital description of the part (for example from a CAD file or scan data) on the surface of a powder bed. After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed. The method has the advantages of the simple manufacturing process, a wide selection of materials, low cost and fast forming speed.

Share This Post


For a free quote to start working with us today