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Differentiating Between DLP & SLA 3D Printers For Dental Offices

June 17, 2020

Thanks to advancements in 3D technology, replicas of patients’ mouths can now be printed into practical and highly accurate models. This makes the formulation of dental solutions more convenient for both the dentist and the patient.

There are two main types of printers available in the market: DLP and SLA printers. Both are viewed as technologies that meet very high standards when it comes to precision. They both count on the use of light, mostly in the ultraviolet (UV) part of the spectrum for curing a photosensitive viscous resin.

Distinguishing Between The Types Of 3D Printers In Dentistry

Both printers share the same mode of operation. As a result, it produces resins that are very similar.

1. Digital light printer (DLP) – This is currently the fastest technology available for 3D printing. This technology came about in the late 1980s and makes use of a conventional light source similar to an arc lamp with a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel. In this process, DLP projects each layer making an illuminated pane in which photopolymerization takes place.

2. Stereolithography (SLA) printer – This type of printer addresses one layer at a time. It is a type of printing form that traces its origins to the early 1980s. By directing the laser through the resin, a layer of the print is created according to the design needs.

Primary Differences

  • Light source: SLA makes use of a UV laser, while DLP utilizes light from a projector.
    In DLP, the operator is able to control the intensity of the UV light source, managing the effect on the resin. In SLA, the laser beam’s intensity is fixed, so you have to change the light completely for a different effect on the resin.
  • DLP uses a more inexpensive light source than SLA, which utilizes laser lights.
  • SLA is more fit to print parts with intricate details, while DLP prints large parts at a faster rate with less detail.

All in all, the most important thing is that you choose a printer that will best suit your lab. Contact Benco Dental for state-of-the-art printers at the most reasonable prices.


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