Grow Your 3D Printing Capabilities

Many businesses use both FDM and SLA machines alongside one another. This opens access to a wider range of applications supported by low-cost rapid prototyping, high quality, functional parts, and comprehensive material formulations.


FDM and SLA Increase In-House Capabilties


Improved Surface Finish

FDM 3D printers form layers by depositing lines of molten material, which makes it unable to reproduce intricate details that other technologies can offer.

SLA is a great option for highly detailed prototypes requiring tight tolerances and smooth surfaces, such as molds, patterns, and functional parts. They are known for fine features, smooth surface finish, ultimate part precision, and accuracy.

Faster Speed Increases Throughput

FDM machines can print with thicker layers and generally use a lower infill which results in fast 3D prints. This is ideal for applications like rapid prototyping.

SLA printing materials such as Draft Resin prints up to 40% faster on the Form 3 than FDM 3D printers. With a 300-micron layer height, Draft Resin is accurate enough to meet prototyping needs while enabling faster design iterations.


Access to Applications and Increased Material Selection

FDM 3D printers work with a range of standard thermoplastics, but performance materials are often limited to selected professional FDM printers that support them.

SLA resins have the benefit of a wide range of formulation configurations: materials can be soft or hard, heavily filled with materials like glass and ceramic, or imbued with mechanical properties like high heat deflection temperature or impact resistance. Various resin formulations offer a wide range of optical, mechanical, and thermal properties to match those of standard, engineering, and industrial thermoplastics.

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Combined Technology Workflow Enables New Treatments for Cardiovascular Disease

"I utilize both SLA and FDM 3D printing in my tissue-engineering research. Formlabs SLA technology delivers high precision, producing excellent quality parts, first time. FDM provides access to a different range of materials, as this process is based on melting material, rather than chemically cross-linking it. This enables alternative processing options, like 3D printing soluble parts. Combining SLA and FDM 3D printing is enabling me to grow blood vessels, of any shape, in the lab to deliver new treatments for cardiovascular disease." Dr. Sam Pashneh-Tala, Research Fellow, The University of Sheffield

Compare SLA and FDM Side by Side

Each 3D printing technology has its own strengths, weaknesses, and requirements, and is suitable for different applications and businesses. The following table summarizes some key characteristics and considerations.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)Stereolithography (SLA)
Surface Finish★★☆☆☆★★★★★
Complex Designs★★★☆☆★★★★☆
Ease of Use★★★★★★★★★★

Have questions about how SLA and FDM Compare?

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The Form 3 Named Best Resin 3D Printer in 2019 by All3DP




“The Form 3 … is a sophisticated printer that can produce excellent quality prints with little maintenance or tweaking, making it a great pick for those who want to do a lot of printing without hassle… The Form 3 just works.” Tom’s Guide


“The Form 3 makes printing as fast, if not faster than comparable fused filament fabrication 3D printers not only possible but reliable and repeatable.” All3DP






"[The Form 3] is an SLA 3D printer that delivers incredible quality. In the world of 3D printers, this has all the bells and whistles you could ask for to ensure that you actually get successful prints." Make Magazine

Expand Your Access to Applications With FDM and SLA