Digital Light Processing
DLP is a 3D printing process that is similar to SLA technology with the major difference being the light source. Where SLA applies a UV laser, DLP uses a light projector to bind photopolymer liquid resin together. DLP printers create parts with the same accuracy and resolution as SLA printers. The same photopolymer resins that can be used with SLA, can be used for DLP 3D Printing.
In this process, the first layer of liquid polymer on the build platform is exposed to light from the projector under safelight conditions. The DLP projector displays the image of the 3D model onto the liquid polymer. The exposed liquid polymer hardens and the build plate moves down and the liquid polymer is once more exposed to light. The process is repeated until the 3D part is complete and the printer is drained of remaining liquid, revealing the solidified model.
Compared with SLA, DLP have faster build speeds due to a single layer being created in one singular digital image whereas with SLA, the UV laser has to trace out the object layer.
DLP 3D Printing is ideal for:
- forward Prototypes for limited functional testing
- forward Patterns for investment casting and vacuum casting
- forward Low volume production of complex geometries
- forward Visual prototypes for market testing
Technical Specifications for DLP
forward Standard Lead time: Minimum 4 working days depending on part size, number of components and finishing requirements lead time may increase.
forward Standard Accuracy: ± 0.025mm - 0.05mm
forward Layer thickness (resolution): 0.02 mm
forward Minimum Wall thickness: 1mm
forward Max dimensions: 250mm x 250mm x 250 mm. Large parts can be created by assembling individual parts by interlocking designs or glueing them together.
forward Surface finishing and Post Processing: Unfinished parts typically have supports on the surface but post-production finishes can achieve different effects, from high glosses to coarse textures. DLP parts can be smoothed, varnished, painted and coated