UNSW Making

3D Printing with SLA Resin Printers

A guide to get you started designing and printing parts on our FormLabs Resin Printers

Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing or resin 3D printing, is fast becoming a popular method for creating high-accuracy prototypes and models. This technology has the ability to create models with fine features and smooth surface finishes in a wide range of advanced materials.

Read on below to learn how SLA printing technologies work and how to get started designing and printing parts on our SLA machines at UNSW!

What is SLA Printing?

Stereolithography (SLA)

"Stereolithography or SLA belongs to a family of additive manufacturing technologies known as vat photopolymerization, commonly known as resin 3D printing. These machines are all built around the same principle, using a light source—a laser or projector—to cure liquid resin into hardened plastic. The main physical differentiation lies in the arrangement of the core components, such as the light source, the build platform, and the resin tank." -FormLabs

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SLA Printing at UNSW Makerspaces

Our FormLabs printers utilise SLA technology giving you easy access to resin printing across our makerspaces at UNSW. You can find out more about the machines and how to access them through out 3D Printing Hub homepage.

SLA Printing at UNSW

Form 2

Form 3 and Form 3L

Designing for SLA Printing

Design Guidelines

The following guidelines will give you a rough example of the capabilities of our FormLabs resin printers. Please keep in mind they are approximates only and will vary depending on the type of resin used. The below dimensions are based on the 'standard' resins, using flexible, engineering or wax resins will require some different considerations.

Download the Guide

Wall Thicknesses

SLA Wall Thickness


SLA Overhangs


SLA Details


SLA Clearances

PreForm Software

PreForm is FormLabs proprietary slicing software that makes printing on our Form printers super easy! Allowing you to easily scale, rotate or move your model to maximise print space on the build plate, preform can then automatically generate supports and give you feedback on your model's printability as well as an estimated print time. Download it below to get started!

Download PreForm

Types of Resin

Clear Resin

Clear Resin printed on the Form 3 polishes to near optical transparency, making it ideal for working with light or showcasing internal features.

  • Smooth surface finish
  • Optical transparency
  • No post curing necessary
Price $0.40/ml
Grey Pro Resin

Grey Pro Resin offers high precision, moderate elongation, and low creep. This material is great for concept modeling and functional prototyping, especially for parts that will be handled repeatedly.

  • Form and fit testing
  • Injection molded product prototypes
  • Mold masters for plastics, silicones, and more
  • Jigs and fixtures for manufacturing
Price $0.45/ml
Rigid 10K Resin

Rigid 10K Resin is our stiffest material that is ideal for precise industrial parts that need to withstand significant load without bending and benefit from resistance to heat and chemicals.

  • Short run injection mold masters and inserts
  • Aerodynamic test models
  • Heat resistant and fluid exposed components, jigs, and fixtures
  • Simulates stiffness of glass and fiber-filled thermoplastics
Price $0.50/ml
Durable Resin

Durable Resin is the most pliable, impact resistant, and lubricious material in our functional family of Tough and Durable Resins. Choose Durable Resin for squeezable parts and low-friction assemblies.

  • Squeezable prototypes and low friction assemblies
  • Jigs and fixtures undergoing significant impacts
  • Low friction assemblies and non-degrading surfaces
  • Simulating the strength and stiffness of polyethylene (PE)
Price $0.45/ml
Flexible Resin

Flexible 80A Resin is the most stiff soft-touch material in our library of Flexible and Elastic Resins, with an 80A Shore durometer to simulate the flexibility of rubber or TPU. Balancing softness with strength, Flexible 80A Resin can withstand bending, flexing, and compression, even through repeated cycles.

  • Handles, grips, and overmoulds
  • Seals, gaskets, and masks
  • Cushioning, damping, and shock absorption
Price $0.52/ml
Elastic 50A

Our softest Engineering Resin, this 50A Shore durometer material is suitable for prototyping parts normally produced with silicone. Choose Elastic 50A Resin for parts that will bend, stretch, compress, and hold up to repeated cycles without tearing, and spring back quickly to their original shape.

  • Wearables and consumer goods prototyping
  • Medical models and devices
  • Compliant features for robotics
  • Special effects props and models
Price $0.60/ml
BioMed Clear Resin

BioMed Clear Resin is a hard, strong material for biocompatible applications requiring long-term skin or mucosal membrane contact. This USP Class VI certified material is suitable for applications that require wear resistance and low water absorption over time. 

  • Medical device and device components
  • Jigs and fixtures
  • Surgical planning and implant sizing tools
  • Research and development
Price Contact Technical Staff for pricing
Dental Clear Resin

Directly print affordable, high-quality occlusal splints in-house with Dental LT Clear Resin (V2). Highly durable and resistant to fracture, this color-corrected material prints clear, polishes to high optical transparency.

  • High-quality splint in 45 minutes, for $4 – $6 per part 
  • Optically transparent, color-corrected material 
  • Resists discoloration over time
Price Contact Technical Staff for pricing

Post Processing SLA Prints

Post-Processing 3D Prints

When your print is finished and sitting ready to be pulled off the build plate you may be very eager to grab it and go...however to create a long-lasting part ready for it's end use, there are a few extra steps required.

Washing your parts is a crucial step to remove any excess un-cured resin that may be left on your part. This will give it a smooth and non-sticky surface.

Once washed a post-curing cycle can help the material perform to it's maximum strength, trust us, it's well worth it!

Guide to Post-Processing

Other Resources

Explore the possibilities of SLA Printing

Further your knowledge with these resources to help get you thinking and designing beyond the basics

What will you design next?

Injection Mold Tooling with the Form 3

3D Printed Vacuum Form Molds

Injection Mould Tooling

Rapid Tooling with SLA Printed Parts

Guide to Rapid Tooling


Design and Print Snap Fit Enclosures

Learn More

Screw Threads and Threaded Inserts

Learn More

Related Badges

Categories: Digital Fabrication