Perfect for product developers. Prototyping with stereolithography is ideal for product development. For example, to check whether a product is suitable for the subsequent requirements or whether improvements are still necessary. It is ideal for detailed models or small series thanks to high precision, flexible component sizes, a wide variety of available materials and fast delivery times.

Nozzle for the water dosing device during the production process – STL, material: Somos® ProtoTherm
The nozzle for a water dosing device during the production process (Somos® ProtoTherm)
Nozzle for water dosing device – STL, material: Somos® ProtoTherm
Thermally stable – nozzle for water dosing device in Somos® ProtoTherm, finished.
Cover panel for water dispenser – STL, material: Accura® Xtreme
Durable and impact-resistant: cover for water dispenser in Accura® Xtreme, finished.
Cover panel for the water dispenser during the production process – STL, material: Accura® Xtreme.
The cover panel for the water dispenser during the production process (Accura® Xtreme).
Cover panel, finished – STL, material: Accura® Xtreme
Durable and impact-resistant: cover for water dispenser in Accura® Xtreme, finished.
Water tank with lid, finished – STL, material: Somos® WaterClear Ultra
Eye-catching: Water tank with lid in Somos® WaterClear Ultra, finished.
Water tank with lid in the production process – STL, material: Somos® WaterClear Ultra
The transparent water tank with lid in the production process. (Somos® WaterClear Ultra)
Lid with catch – STL, material: Accura® 25
Sturdy and flexible: lid with catch in Accura® 25, finished.
Lid with catch during the production process – STL, material: Accura® 25
Lid with catch during the production process (Accura® 25)
Lid with catch, finished – STL, material: Accura® 25
Sturdy and flexible: lid with catch in Accura® 25, finished.
Filter in HD – STL, material: Accura® Xtreme
Precision work: filter in HD with Accura® Xtreme, finished.
HD filter during the production process – STL, material Accura® Xtreme
The HD filter during the production process (Accura® Xtreme)
Printer, finished – STL, Somos® PerFORM
High precision: printer in Somos® PerFORM, finished.
The printer during the production process – Somos® PerFORM
The printer during the production process (Somos® PerFORM)
Printer, finished – STL, Somos® PerFORM
High precision: dispenser in Somos® PerFORM, finished.

Stereolithography involves curing liquid epoxy resin or acrylic resin using a UV laser beam. We build these master models with a layer thickness of 0.100 mm. Smaller components can also be built with 0.050 mm as an option. For our customers, this guarantees the highest possible accuracy with minimal deviation from the target geometry. Individual processing is thus ensured.

Functional components with stereolithography

With a total of seven stereolithography systems, 1zu1 Prototypes sets new standards in production – we use optimal machines and premium materials to achieve outstanding results in accordance with the most diverse customer requirements. Our high-precision machines open up further prototyping possibilities by processing a wide variety of resins (e.g., high-strength, flexible, transparent, temperature-resistant).

Transparent components with stereolithography

1zu1 prototypes – transparent and UV-resistant stereolithography models. After production, the models are polished to a high gloss and are scarcely distinguishable from high-quality series models – a decisive advantage for their development to series maturity. We have also perfected the production of high-precision transparent prototypes in vacuum casting. In addition, 1zu1 Prototypes sets new standards in the production of single and/or multi-component parts.

In stereolithography, the laser is controlled by means of the specified data. This ensures that, in the current sectional plane of the component, only the areas of the liquid photopolymer are exposed in which material should be visible.

After the working platform is lowered into the polymer bath by the distance corresponding to the thickness of the cured layer, the previously built-up part is covered with another thin layer of liquid polymer. This allows the curing process to be repeated in accordance with the data for the current section plane. This process is repeated until the entire component is finished. The complete curing process takes place in a post-curing cabinet by means of UV irradiation.

STL process

(1) Laser
(2) Mirror
(3) Spindle lift
(4) Component
(5) Liquid photopolymer

With the help of a special support geometry, overhanging structures are fixed to the construction platform. Their task is to secure the resulting part in the polymer bath and thus prevent the layers from “floating away”. The use of this supporting structure is a special feature of stereolithography. This is due to use of a liquid starting material. The support geometry is removed during finishing and is the only waste generated during the stereolithography process.

Finishing of stereolithography parts

STL finishing – post-processing of stereolithography parts

We offer different quality levels for finishing of stereolithography master models. This helps to keep your development costs as low as possible. Stereolithography surface treatment is essentially dependent on three factors:

  • the chosen follow-up procedure (e.g., vacuum casting)
  • the required prototype quality
  • and its intended use

As the starting point, preparations are made for the required type of post-processing (this will depend on the applied rapid prototyping process, the subsequent duplication process, the part's intended use and the prototype material). These preparations involve several steps: Any residues of the starting material are completely removed, the component surfaces are cleaned and, if necessary, chemically treated with solvents.

We differentiate between three possible quality levels for the production of SLA/STL prototypes:

First Class

Is the standard for parts manufactured via STL. The quoted price always corresponds to the First-Class version, unless another version is explicitly specified.

  • For models with demanding surface-quality requirements such as high-gloss and structured surfaces (design models, trade fair models, customer presentations)
  • Master models for vacuum casting with demanding surface-quality requirements

Business Class

If this finish is selected, break-outs are not corrected and the parts are not polished. It is usually possible to arrange subsequent return delivery for a First-Class finish.

  • Master models for vacuum casting with low surface-quality requirements

Economy Class

With this finish, the procedural construction stages from the STL process are not removed. This version can be upgraded to Business or First Class at a later date (by arrangement).

Of course, we can also process these parts in vacuum casting if the surface quality is sufficient.

  • For design review
  • As a basis for discussions regarding tool design
  • For subordinate components without special surface requirements


Assignment of work according to quality levels

  First Class Business Class Economy Class
Cleaning
Remove support geometries
Remove gradation
Grain: 120–180
Correct outbreaks
Grinding on the visible side
Grain: 220–320
Fitting to the assembly
Blasting with corundum
Vacuum casting possible