10 Things That Affect SLA Printing Accuracy
Accuracy is one the central characteristics you expect of a 3D printer, particularly SLA printers, which are renowned for their high degree of precision. If an SLA printer cannot reproduce a model with sufficient accuracy then it has failed its primary task. However, achieving a very high degree of accuracy is not easy, and there are numerous little factors that can all add up to produce a part that is long way off the original model.
Before we get started, let's quickly clear up exactly what we mean by accuracy, and distinguish it from the related concept of resolution. In 3D printing, accuracy describes how much a part differs from its intended shape. This can be an average of the total discrepancy across the whole part, or the point where the discrepancy was highest. For example, a printed part may be scanned and be found to have an average dimensional deviation (physical discrepancy from the original model) of 0.050 mm, and a maximum deviation of 0.15 mm. This differs from resolution, which describes the level of detail that the printer can theoretically produce based on its specification. High resolution doesn't always translate into high accuracy and the figures can often be misleading. It's not uncommon for high-resolution machines to produce parts that are highly inaccurate. This is why experienced manufacturers value accuracy far more than resolution, especially in industries where detail is crucial. Let's take a closer look at ten of the biggest causes of inaccuracy in SLA 3D printing.