All About Masked Stereolithography Apparatus (MSLA) 3D Printing

The MSL 3D printing process uses unique photopolymer resins that harden (cure) under UV light. The majority of 3D printing resins are either acrylate- or epoxy-based, with the latter being more common in desktop printers. Most resins fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Standard Resin: Standard resins work well for printing with great resolution and rigidity. They are best for prototyping.
  2. Tough Resin: Tough resins are comparable to ABS thermoplastic. They were developed to give printed parts good impact resistance.
  3. Clear Resin: Clear resins have mechanical qualities comparable to those of standard resin. The difference is that, with a little post-processing, they can be made optically transparent. 
  4. Durable Resin: Durable resin has similar mechanical properties to polypropylene (PP). It is a flexible and wear-resistant material, particularly useful when prototyping consumer products such as ball joints and snap fits.

How is MSLA 3D Printing Used in the Medical Industry?

MSLA 3D printing is used in the process of bioengineering tissue. Various compositions are important here, making possible bone and teeth implants, artificial vascular supports, and organ scaffolds. 

How is MSLA 3D Printing Used in the Jewelry Industry?

The great printing resolution of MSLA and the availability of wax resins that will burn out cleanly during casting make it popular in the jewelry industry. Traditional lost-wax casting demands that jewelers cut hard modeling wax into complex shapes. Now, those shapes can be made with more precision using a printer. Moreover, designs that would be impossible with traditional techniques are simple with 3D printers. The designer must simply build the jewelry piece using CAD software beforehand. 

Are MSLA Printers Capable of Producing Massive, Detailed Pieces?

Yes, MSLA 3D printers can create large, intricate items if the printer is large enough. The Peopoly Phenom L 3D printer is the go-to machine for such work. It is a dependable high-volume printer that is useful for small-batch production runs and prototyping. In addition to its enormous print capacity and quick drying time, it can efficiently and swiftly produce prototypes and parts. Although this printer is designed to print larger pieces, it can also produce small parts.

What is the Difference Between MSLA and SLA?

SLA and MSLA printers differ in their resin-curing process. While MSLA employs a LCD mask to project UV light to solidify the layers, SLA traces each layer’s shape using an ultraviolet laser instead. Printing is usually quicker via the MSLA process because a single flash of the curing light solidifies an entire layer at once, something the SLA laser cannot do. This makes MSLA especially useful when multiple models are printed simultaneously.

Summary

This article presented Masked Stereolithography Apparatus (MSLA), explained what it is, and discussed how this process is used in different industries. To learn more about MSLA, contact a Xometry representative.

Xometry provides a wide range of manufacturing capabilities, including 3D printing and other value-added services for all of your prototyping and production needs. Visit our website to learn more or to request a free, no-obligation quote.

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All About Masked Stereolithography Apparatus (MSLA) 3D Printing