Not sure what stereolithography is or what we mean by 'high resolution'? Get the answers you need below.


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We are known for our outstanding part quality, quick deliveries, our unmatched personalized customer service.

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Realize SLA Materials Comparison Sheet

“I’ve been working with Realize for 5 years, and their service is a valuable asset to my business. Every part that Realize has made for me has exceeded quality expectations and was delivered early or on time. I rely heavily on their flexibility, expertise, fast quote turnaround, and competitive pricing to help me keep my customers satisfied.”

Owner, Impulse Design & Engineering, LLC

  1. What is Stereolithography (SLA)?

    Stereolithography is a layer additive rapid prototyping process that creates a solid object from a 3D computer model by using a computer-controlled laser to draw cross-sections of the object in succession onto the surface of a liquid photopolymer. You can watch a short video about the process on our Stereolithography page.

  2. What tolerances can you hold?

    Typical tolerances on our SLA models are about +/- 0.005". For parts over 5" we can hold around +/- 0.001" to 0.0015" per inch. Part geometry and build orientation can also have an effect on tolerances.

  3. What do you mean by "High Resolution" Stereolithography?

    High Resolution is a special mode on a Viper si2 SLA system. The diameter of the laser beam is decreased from about 0.010" to about 0.003"-0.004" and parts are built at a layer thickness that has been shaved from 0.004" to 0.002". The effective area for this mode is 5"x5". Parts best suited for high resolution are small with intricate detail and/or extremely small features. High Resolution parts are more expensive than their Normal Resolution counterpart.

  4. What factors determine price?

    The two biggest factors that determine the price of an SLA model are the part volume and the physical size. The unit price of a part tends to decrease as the quantity required increases.

  5. How large/small of a part can you build?

    The largest SLA model we can produce in one piece must fit within a 25"x29"x21" envelope. However, we can and have built larger parts. For those instances, we must produce the part in sections and then reassemble by hand using a variety of techniques. The smallest part we can build is constrained only by the limits of the Viper’s High Resolution mode.

  6. How long will I have to wait for my SLA model?

    Orders are delivered via FedEx usually within two to four days from the time of order. Large parts can take longer and, of course, our backlog at the time of release will also play a role.

  7. I need a model for a presentation/photo shoot. Can you spice up my SLA model?

    Our finishing team has a great passion for the artsy stuff. We really enjoy the challenges that projects of this nature can present. SLA models can be sanded, custom painted, machined, tapped, assembled, chrome plated, vacuum metallized and they are even compatible with hydrographics finishing. Yes, we can spice up your SLA model!

  8. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    As much wood as a woodchuck would, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

  9. What file formats do you prefer?

    We can accept any of the following file formats: STL, Native Pro/E, Native SolidWorks, Parasolid, STEP and IGES. Other files types may be accepted, but a conversion fee could apply.

  10. What settings should I use when exporting an STL file?

    Our preference would be for you to export a binary file using the highest resolution setting your CAD package will allow. If this results in an abnormally large file size, or if you cannot get a fine enough resolution, you may submit one of the other preferred file formats for us to translate.

  11. What is the best way for me to send you my files?

    The best way for you to send us your data is to use the upload feature on our website. Upon your successful transfer, an automatic notification will alert several members of our team that your request has been submitted. If you prefer to stick with email, we kindly request that your attachment does not exceed 5MB.

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