DLP 3D Printer

Understanding DLP vs SLA for 3D Printing Jewelry Business

Did your business also struggle before the launch of DLP 3D printers in India?

Definitely, it would be a big yes!


Before the launch of DLP printers in India, buying a 3D printer was not easy a decade ago, as there were few advanced options regarding accuracy, speed, product complexity, and precision.


The SLA and DLP 3D printers have recently helped companies produce more complex and high-precision designs in a short period. 


So, what exactly do the terms SLA and DLP mean? Do they differ from each other?

If yes, then How do they differ from each other, and which one is better for your business?

These questions might revolve around your mind continuously and create confusion about which 3D printer to choose.


Both of them work with a range of photosensitive materials. Both of them work with a range of photosensitive materials. Suppose you're trying to decide between SLA vs. DLP 3D printers for your business, you might wonder how they differ and which is better. 


In this blog, we'll compare resin 3D printers based on various criteria to help you make an informed decision.


What is a DLP 3D printer?

Digital light processing uses a digital projector as a liquid photopolymer resin material that solidifies under a light source. 


Every DLP 3D printer emits light at a certain wavelength. A printer must have a range of wavelengths that will harden the resins because hardening the resin is essential to produce a 3D-printed object.


To know more about DLP 3D printers and their benefits to your business, click on the link below.


Explore the Benefits of a DLP 3D Printer for Jewelry Business


What is an SLA 3D printer?

Stereolithography uses a UV laser as a light source to selectively cure a polymer resin. The process is known for its ability to produce accurate and isotropic prototypes and production parts with smooth surfaces and more detailed features. Moreover, the method is popular for producing smaller parts, intricate objects, and parts with high accuracy.


The SLA method begins by precisely layering a CAD file, which is then converted into an STL file that digitally slices a 3D model into layers.


Each layer is exposed to a UV laser that cures or hardens the polymer resins. The new layer is bonded to the previous layer until a three-dimensional object has been formed. Finally, the object is then cleaned and cured further.


DLP vs SLA for 3D printer

1 Resolution: 

In a DLP 3D printer, the resolution depends on XY resolution, a combination of the laser spot and the increment that helps control the laser beam. The smaller the laser spot size, the higher the XY resolution. 


On the other hand, the Z resolution is determined by the layer height, which is the thickness of each layer of the resin cured by the DLP projector. The smaller the layer height, the higher the Z resolution.


SLA printers can produce high-quality prints with the finest details and smooth surfaces that are well-suited for producing parts with intricate small, detailed designs. 


To conclude, the maximum build volume of an SLA printer is relatively smaller than that of a DLP printer due to the limitations of the UV projector technology.


2 Calibration: 

DLP 3D printers for jewelry use a DMD (Digital micromirror device) that helps project each layer's image onto the resin. 


It has tinted mirrors that represent a pixel in the image. The mirrors can be adjusted accordingly to control the amount of light that reaches the resin. 


The calibration is ensured when the mirror works correctly, and the amount of light reaching the resin is consistent across the build platform. The software completes the calibration process that controls the projector and the mirror. 


On the other hand, SLA printers use a laser to cure the resin selectively. The calibration of an SLA printer ensures that the mirrors are aligned correctly and the laser beam is focused correctly on the resin. The calibration process is completed using specialized software that controls the mirror and the laser.


3 Build volume:

In 3D printers, the build volume depends on the specific model and manufacturer. 

DLP printers tend to have larger build volumes because of the number of pixels available and increasing the resolution by moving the pixel closer to the optical window can result in a smaller build area. 


The SLA process is more scalable because the printer's build volume is completely independent of the print's resolution, allowing for larger print volumes without sacrificing print quality. SLA printers generally tend to have a larger build volume than DLP printers.


In a nutshell, SLA printers generally tend to have a larger build volume than DLP 3D printers


4 Surface finish:

Comparing resin 3D printers such as DLP and SLA printers for the surface finish depends on the specific needs of the project and the desired level of detail and smoothness. 


The SLA printers can produce smoother surfaces than DLP printers due to the laser traces outside contours that help deliver excellent detail. Moreover, laser spot size in SLA printers determines the minimum feature size, which ranges from 0.03 mm to 0.15 mm.


On the other hand, DLP printers often produce a slight stepping effect due to the layered process of solidifying the resin. DLP printers produce features as fine as 0.05 mm, smaller than SLA printers' typical minimum feature size. 


5 Speed and throughput:

A DLP 3D printer can print smaller parts at a high resolution, but its build volume limits the part size and throughput.


On the other hand, SLA 3D printers can produce all of these in one machine, with the freedom to decide the resolution, speed, or throughput.


Speed also depends on the material used. Sculptoris Innovation has materials such as resin and a tray for 3D printers that are ideal for printing precise and unique models. From fast working speed to minimum support removal, wash, and cure time at post-processing technique, the Sculptoris innovation will help you truly maximize efficiency.


6 Workflow and materials:

SLA printers often require more post-processing steps because, after printing, the object is cleaned of excess resin and cured in a UV oven or other curing chamber.

Sometimes, it also requires a support structure to be printed along with the object, which must be removed after printing.


DLP printers generally have a faster printing speed than SLA printers and require minimum time in post-processing. Additionally, they have a more limited selection of resins than SLA printers. Moreover, DLP printers may require more calibration due to the projector's non-uniform light distribution and optical distortion.


To wrap up

We hope we were able to provide you with some in-depth knowledge on 3D printers that will help you choose the benefits of each one of them and help you choose the one that's best suitable for your business.


However, it's essential to remember that what fits your business might not suit other businesses, even if they are at the same scale. Two companies might differ based on production, such as bulk or small models. Therefore, studying DLP vs. SLA for 3D printers and making a purchase decision is important. Suppose you're thinking of purchasing a DLP 3D printer or materials used in DLP printers. In that case, you can purchase from Sculptoris Innovation, which offers a wide variety of materials and printer options to make your work efficient and effective at the end of the day.


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