Why choose Stereolithography (SLA)?

One of the biggest strengths of the parts produced using the Stereolithography process is their accuracy– SLA 3D Printed parts are able to be printed in high resolution which facilitates printing of fine details and superior surface finishes.  The advantage of the stereolithography process is its ability to quickly produce parts with complex irregular features with a very high degree of precision.

Models produced using the stereolithography process can be finished to a very high standard due to their smooth surface finish and this makes them particularly suitable as aesthetic “show and tell” models.

SLA 3D Printed parts are available in a wide range of engineered materials which offer excellent material properties and include a material which is USP Grade VI approved. This makes SLA parts ideal for functional testing.

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  • Ultra tough, functional grey parts that resist breakage
  • Physical properties simulate ABS and polypropylene
  • Good moisture resistance and a thermal resistance of over 60°C
  • Excellent accuracy and with the look and feel of a durable molded plastic
  • Suitable for fit, form and function prototypes and durable assemblies
  • Maximum part dimensions: 650 x 750 x 550mm

  • Water clear ABS like parts
  • Produces highly detailed parts with superior clarity and water-resistance
  • Optically clear parts with a smooth finish
  • Certified USP Grade VI material
  • Maximum part dimensions: 450 x 450 x 400mm

  • Charcoal ABS like parts
  • Heat tolerance up to 90°C
  • Excellent surface quality and isotropy for highly detailed parts
  • Superior strength and durability
  • Ideal for the most demanding functional prototyping and end-use applications
  • Maximum part dimensions: 350 x 350 x 350mm

  • Off-white ceramic filled parts
  • Strong, stiff, high temperature resistant composite parts
  • Excellent detail resolution
  • Suitable for applications including high temperature testing, electrical casings and automotive housings
  • Maximum part dimensions: 350 x 350 x 350mm

  • Black ABS like parts
  • High strength and good dimensional stability (even in humid conditions)
  • Replaces CNC-machined black ABS articles for functional assemblies and short run production parts
  • Maximum part dimensions: 250 x 250 x 250mm

  • White parts that simulate polypropylene
  • Flexible plastic, suitable for snap fit assemblies
  • Maximum part dimensions: 250 x 250 x 250mm

Technical Specification

Standard lead time:3- 5 days. If your project is urgent, please let a member of sales team know so that we can investigate if anything can be done to improve the lead time.
Minimum feature size:Normal resolution: 0.15mm | High resolution: 0.08mm
Layer thickness:Normal resolution: 0.1mm | High resolution: 0.05mm
Tolerances:Typically, expected tolerances on well-designed parts are: Normal resolution: +/- 0.15 per 100mm | High Resolution: +/-0.10 per 100mm
Max part size:Normal resolution : 650 x 750 x 550mm | High resolution : 450 x 450 x 415mm
Machines:iPro 8000 | Viper Si2 | 3500 Machine | 250 Machine | 5000 Machine | NEO 450s

Please note figures provided above are expected tolerances, we cannot guarantee part tolerance.

Process Comparison

Stereolithography (SLA)Stereolithography Hi res. (SLA HR)Digital Light Processing (DLP)Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)Direct Metal Laser Sintering Production (DMLS Pro)Direct Metal Laser Sintering High Res. (DMLS HR)Vacuum Casting (VC)Machining (CNC/high-speed CNC)
DescriptionHigh quality precision prints, excellent detail & definition. Wide range of materials.SLA prints with ultra fine detail & definitionSuper high resolution for small & complex parts in durable prototype & production materialsVery tough, high impact and high-temperature resistant. Range of nylon materialsMetal parts with excellent physical and mechanical properties – full production spec (>99% density)High resolution metal prints with superior surface finish and ultra-fine detail.Multiple parts in range of PU and silicon materials – excellent simulation of moulded partsProduction plastics and metals cut to precise tolerances
Layer Thickness0.1mm0.05mm0.01-0.05mm0.1-0.15mm0.03-0.06mm0.015-0.025mmN/AN/A
Minimum printable XY features0.15mm0.08mm0.05mm0.75mm0.2mm0.1mm0.5mm0.05mm
Minimum printable Z feature0.5mm0.5mm0.3mm0.5mm0.06mm0.03mm0.5mm0.05mm
Tolerance+/- 0.15 Per 100mm+/- 0.10 Per 100mm+/- 0.10 Per 100mm+/- 0.25 Per 100mm+/- 0.10 Per 100mm+/- 0.10 Per 100mm+/- 0.5 Per 100mm+/- 0.01 Per 100mm
Max Part Size650 x 750 x 550mm450 x 450 x 415mm124x70.2x196mm320 x 320 x 600mm250x250x305mm90x90x90mm1500 x 700 x 500mm1000 x 600 x 600mm
Quality of printed Surface Finish★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Lead Times3-5 Days3-5 Days3-5 Days3-5 Days5-7 Days5-7 Days 5-10 Days1-3 Weeks

Finishing Options

LPE has a team of experienced in-house traditional model makers and a full spray-painting booth allowing us to offer our customers a range of finishing and painting options.


Components produced using the SLA process are sanded to remove support structures and build lines and then bead blasted for an overall smooth finish.


SLA Watershed parts can be polished as clear as possible.

Metal Plating

It is possible to metal coat SLA parts in a range of different metals including chrome and nickel.

Medical grade clean-up

SLA parts can be given an ISO13485 medical grade clean up which means the parts can be used in a surgical environment.

Other paint finishes

It is possible to give SLA parts a range of paint finishes including cosmetic (Pantone/RAL colour matching), matt, satin, spark or gloss.

Finishing Options Image


Stereolithography is ideal for prototyping. It can also be used for some production applications.

  • Fit and Function Testing
  • Visual prototypes and aesthetic models
  • Master Patterns for Silicon Rubber Moulds
  • High Temperature Models
  • Wind Tunnel Testing Models
  • Medical models
  • Low volume production of parts with complex geometries

How does SLA work?

The Stereolithography process is a 3D Printing technique in which 3D CAD data is converted into physical solid models, layer by layer, by curing a liquid photopolymer resin with a UV laser. Structural supports are created during the setup process and these are then manually removed once the printing is completed. The parts are washed in a solvent solution to remove uncured resin and placed in a UV light oven to receive a final post cure. Support structures are removed with gentle sanding and bead blasting.

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Why choose LPE?

Range of services and materials

Range of services and materials

One stop shop for all your prototyping and production requirements with a full range of in-house services and wide range of materials.

Technical expertise

Technical expertise

We are the longest established RP bureau in the UK and Ireland, and we have an experienced team of both engineers and modelmakers.

ISO9001 and ISO13485 <br> quality approved

ISO9001 and ISO13485
quality approved

Quality is at the heart of everything we do and is integrated into all our processes. All our parts are finised to the highest standard every time.

Speed of turnaround

Speed of turnaround

Parts can be turned around in a matter of days.

Free next day delivery service

Free next day delivery service

Our parts can be delivered next day free of charge (within the UK & Ireland).

Personal service

Personal service

Technical sales team offering a professional, experienced and personal service.

Contact us now for a fast, competitive quotation on your latest project.