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What is the Difference Between High and Normal SLA Resolution?

Posted on: October 19th, 2015 by The Technology House

We are often asked what options one has in SLA resolution. The answer is simple, normal resolution and high resolution. And deciding which option is best for you is simple as well. Normal resolution prints parts at .005” layers, and high resolution prints parts at .002” layers.

Here is a part that we printed in both normal and high resolution.  The part was printed in the same material as well as had the same finish done in post processing.


Can you tell the difference?  Take a closer look to see which is which.

The part on the left was printed in high resolution, while the part on the right was printed in normal resolution.  As you can see, the details on the left part are more defined than the details on the right part.


The left file was the part printed in normal resolution, while the part on the right was printed in high resolution.  The build lines are less visible, and the details are more noticeable on the high resolution part.

After seeing these parts, you may be asking yourself the following questions:

How do I decide which resolution is best for me?
Normal resolution is a good all around use resolution. Customers who need parts for basic form, fit, and function print their parts in normal resolution.  Customers with designs of intricate details, require tight fitting to mating parts, or require tight tolerances print parts in high resolution

Is there a cost difference?
Generally speaking, high resolution parts cost twice as much as normal resolution parts.   This is because build times for high resolution parts are typically twice as long since as normal resolution since parts are being printed at .002” instead of .005”

How large are the build platforms?
We print normal resolution parts on 20”x20”x20” platforms, and our high resolution parts print on 5”x5”x11” platforms. But we are not confined to these dimensions, larger parts can always be printed in sections and then bonded in post processing.

Knowing this information will help take the guessing out of deciding which resolution is best for your parts. This will potentially save you from wasting money and resources on prototypes that do not work for your needs. If you have further question on the difference between the resolutions, then do not hesitate to contact us.