Rapid prototyping typically refers to a variety of subtractive and additive technologies that translate CAD data to three dimensional objects.Stereolithography has been a widely utilized RP process since the early 1980s.
UnionTech SL equipment provides excellent surface aesthetics.Exceptionally smooth sidewall quality minimizes layer line definition. Textures can be readily applied as part of the model build.
UnionTech SL equipment is compatible with one of the widest ranges of materials available for any AM process including, clear, colorless, pigmented, and ceramic filled materials.
Patterns and Tooling
While stereolithography is most often associated with prototyping, patterns and tooling account for a substantially higher percentage of overall SL material usage. The accuracy and precision of SL printing coupled with excellent surface aesthetics is ideal for creating patterns for various casting and molding processes.
Rapid Manufacturing is a generic term that can refer to using additive manufacturing to directly produce parts used in an end-use or indirectly using AM to create patterns and tooling.
Essentially all the processes described under patterns and tooling are applicable to rapidly producing end use parts: SL provides form while the material used in the final process provides properties needed in the final application.
Metal Clad Hybrids
Most AM technologies can be electroplated utilizing a copper-structural nickel coating , dramatically increasing mechanical properties including strength, stiffness, and impact resistance while imparting physical properties such as flame retardancy and EMI shielding.
The smooth, solid surfaces of SL parts have contributed to utilization in metal clad composites (hybrid compositions) for nearly 20 years.
Some AM service providers as well as photopolymer suppliers have commercialized the use of specific SL photopolymer/copper/nickel combinations to develop composite properties across a wide range of dynamic and static mechanical properties as well as various physical properties so that end users can utilize these composite properties to better optimize designs.