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SLA and Objet Parts

Overview
Global Rapid Prototyping Services maintains a variety of RP processes to print the wide range of RP parts requested by our customers. We have eight different machines using four different printing technologies. This arrangement enables us to provide parts or models from a dozen different materials. It also gives us the ability to provide very fast turn-around, and provide parts from the materials that best match our customers’ needs.

Stereolithography (SLA) and Objet are our primary RP processes. SLA provides good stiffness, sandability, and is typically the most efficient process for larger parts. Objet gives us high speed for smaller parts, and a range of materials including printable elastomers. Many of our customers like these elastomeric materials to quickly evaluate mounting pads, seals, keypads, gaskets, and other design concepts without the need for urethane casting or compression molding.

An SLA machine in Draw mode
Our Plantation, Florida facility includes both our printing capability, and our post-processing staff, who can provide a variety of finishing, painting, and assembly options to meet our customers’ needs.

Freeform Printing Capabilities
Objet Eden Printers (3)
X-Y-Z Resolution: up to 600 x 600 x 1600 dpi
X-Y-Z Printing Envelope: up to 20 x 16 x 8 inches
Build speeds up to 0.5″ / hour
Poly-Jet, 2-material system
Shore A 30,61,75 available

Stereolithography (SLA) Machines (4)
X-Y-Z Resolution: up to 500 x 500 x 333 dpi
X-Y-Z Printing Envelope: up to 20 x 20 x 15 inches
Build speeds up to 0.375″ / hour
Laser-based, single material, liquid photopolymer
SLA parts in a post-process wash cycle
SLA parts in a post-process wash cycle
Enhanced flex / snap fit material behavior
Rapid manufacturing resin available

Thermojet
X-Y-Z Resolution: up to 300 x 300 x 666 dpi
X-Y-Z Printing Envelope: up to 10 x 8 x 8 inches
Build speeds up to 0.375″ / hour
Poly-Jet, single material, thermoplastic wax
Glossy upward facing surfaces
Can be used to prototype investment casting or other lost wax processes

Data Requirements
.STL binary file or Pro/E files preferred
Click HERE for instructions on .STL file generation

Post-Processing
Removal of support materials
Post-treatments include solvent wash, base wash, UV oven, IR oven
Sanding / Finishing
Wax model of a Cordless Phone base station
Wax model of a Cordless Phone base station
Painting
Assembly, including pinning of hinge points and gluing of threaded inserts
Speed and Quality
Our freeform personnel have a long history with these technologies and are skilled in both the front-end and back-end processing of parts and assemblies. They can often offer good advice on how to get the best performance out of your RP parts, and help ensure you make the best possible choices.

Because of our capacity, experience, skill level, and focus on process improvement, our turn-around on small to medium sized parts is extremely good. About 90% of orders received are shipped by express carrier or available for courier pickup the next day.

Additional Applications
A vehicle electronics housing from SLA
In addition to being used directly as form-factor models or as engineering parts to evaluate design concepts, our freeform parts are also used extensively as intermediate steps in other processes. Finely finished SLA parts are often finished, painted and textured for use as masters in making silicone molds to cast urethane parts.
We often print Objet fixture nests for early product assembly, or print SLA molds for casting silicone parts. SLA parts can be machined to a high quality finish for appearance models, and, with the right resin, even used in outdoor and long-term installations. Our thermojet materials can even be used in investment, sand, or other lost-wax casting processes for metals.