Digital Light Processing (DLP)

Digital Light Processing (DLP), otherwise known as DLS and CLIP, is a UV-sensitive liquid resin cured by a digital light projector. After processing, the part is cleaned, supports removed, and UV and thermal treated when necessary.

Digital Light Processing is an ideal option for projects requiring high detail and finish in various production-grade materials. From flexible silicone to rigid high-temp cyanate ester Digital Light Processing can make parts with different durometers and characteristics. It’s excellent for small end-use parts, light metal part substitutions, functional, high-detail prototypes, jigs, and fixtures.

Digital Light Processing Diagram

Table of Contents

How does Digital Light Processing Work?

We take your CAD file and input it into the machine, and the software breaks it down layer by layer. We also take into consideration the direction of the build and the placement of the supports. The Digital Light Processing machine uses a photochemical process by projecting a light through an oxygen-permeable into a UV-curable resin. The part solidifies as the UV images are projected, and the build platform rises. These steps are repeated until the build is complete.

Once finished, the platform is removed from the machine and baked in a forced-circulation oven that creates another chemical reaction causing the materials to strengthen. Once that stage is finished, the parts are manually removed from the platform, the supports are removed from the parts, and they’re ready to go to the finishing department.

What are the ideal applications for Digital Light Processing

• Used in the following industries: automotive, consumer, dental/medical/sciences, and industrial
• Low-volume production for end-use parts

Digital Light Processing at Midwest Prototyping

OEM:

Carbon

Max Build Area:

7.4 in. x 4.6 in. x 12.8 in.

Lead Time:

1 – 2 Days

Material:

Cyanate Ester (CE 221), Elastomeric Polyurethane (EPU 40), Epoxy (EPX 82), Flexible Polyurethane (FPU 50), Rigid Polyurethane (RPU 70 and 130), Silicone (SIL 30), Urethane Methacrylate (UMA 90)

*Most common materials are listed in bold.

Tolerances:

UMA 90: +/- .005” for the first inch and +/- .002” for each additional inch

2-part engineering materials depend on the geometries.

Layer Thickness:

  • Standard Resolution: .004 in.
  • Fine Resolution: .002 in.
  • Ultra Fine Resolution: .001 in.

Do you have a question about your design or materials that would fit your project? Email one of our Solutions Managers.

Digital Light Processing Hood Rod Clip capabilities

Which Digital Light Processing Materials Does Midwest Prototyping offer?

Material

Description

Tolerance Guide

Key Characteristics

More Information

CE 221 is a high-performance material with superb strength and rigidity.

General Accuracy:

± .003 in + .004 in/in

Production Repeatability (95% of points):

± .003 in

  • Amber Colored
  • Biocompatible
  • Rigid
  • High Strength
  • Chemical Resistant

EPU 40 is a high-performance polyurethane elastomer with a high elasticity, resilience, and tear resistance.

General Accuracy:

± .003 in + .010 in/in

Production Repeatability (95% of points):

± .003 in

  • Black
  • Biocompatible
  • Elastomeric
  • Impact Resistant
  • Chemical Resistant

EPX 82 is a high-strength material with fantastic long-term durability and mechanical properties comparable to lightly glass-filled thermoplastics. 

General Accuracy:

± .003 in + .013 in/in

Production Repeatability (95% of points):

± .002 in

  • Black
  • High Strength
  • Rigid
  • Heat Resistant
  • UV Stability

FPU 50 is an impact, scratch, and fatigue resistant semi-rigid material.

General Accuracy:

± .002 in + .011 in/in

Production Repeatability (95% of points):

± .002 in

  • Black
  • Elastomeric
  • Good For Snap Fits
  • Impact Resistant
  • Low Friction

RPU 70 is a material used for  parts requiring strength, toughness, and moderate heat resistance.

General Accuracy:

± .003 in + .011 in/in

Production Repeatability (95% of points):

± .002 in

  • Black
  • Impact Resistant
  • Good For Snap Fits
  • Rigid
  • High Strength
  • Biocompatible
  • Heat Resistant

RPU 130 is a strong, tough, and heat resistant material that combines performance and environmental sustainability.

General Accuracy:

± .003 in + .018 in/in

Production Repeatability (95% of points):

± .002 in

  • Black
  • Impact Resistant
  • High Strength
  • Heat Resistant
  • Rigid

SIL 30 is a biocompatible, and tear-resistant silicone urethane elastomer that is ideal for skin-contact applications.

General Accuracy:

± .005 in + .018 in/in

Production Repeatability (95% of points):

± .003 in

  • Grey
  • Biocompatible
  • Elastomeric
  • Flexible

UMA 90 is a photosensitive polymer that is rigid, abrasion-resistant, and can withstand repetitive movements.

General Accuracy:

± .003 in + .001 in/in

Production Repeatability (95% of points):

± .002 in

  • Multi-Color
  • Rigid
  • Biocompatible

Compare Materials

How to Design for Digital Light Processing at Midwest Prototyping.

Feature

Measurement 

Supported Walls

.008 in (rigid) 

.04 in (flexible) 

Unsupported Walls

.012 in (rigid) 

.098 (flexible) 

Supports & Overhangs

25 degrees (rigid) 

45 degrees (flexible) 

Embossing & Engraving

Width: .008 in (rigid) and .035 in (flexible) 

Height/Depth: .004 in (rigid) and .02 in (flexible) 

Horizontal Spans

.12 in (rigid) 

.04 in (flexible) 

Holes & Openings

.12 in (rigid) 

.04 in (flexible) 

Connecting & Moving Parts

.12 in (rigid) 

.04 in (flexible) 

Escape Holes

.04 in

Minimum Features

.004 in (rigid) 

.04 in (flexible) 

Pin Diameter

.004 in (rigid) 

.04 in (flexible) 

What are the Digital Light Processing Finishing Levels at Midwest Prototyping?

Level

Process

Description

1

Supports removed and support surfaces lightly sanded

Standard finish: supported surfaces appearing dull. Parts will have visible lines.

2*

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, and entire part bead blasted

Even surface finish: more consistent matte finish. Parts will have visible layer lines.

2 +*

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, and cosmetic surfaces sanded to 180 grit and bead blasted

Functional finish: removes some layer lines. Parts have a light texture from sanding.

3*

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, and cosmetic surfaces sanded to 320 grit

Show quality finish: removes most visible lines. Parts are prime and paint ready.

4*

Supports removed, support surfaces lightly sanded, and wet sanded to 600 grit

Special Finishing: Recommended only for plating.

* Elastomeric materials can only be finished to Level 1. For a higher quality finish, these materials may be coated in a soft touch.

Are you ready to get your ideas made?

Our RFQ Team is standing by to give you a quote, and parts can be done in days, or contact one of our Solutions Managers for answers to a question! 

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