Hi Community,

My name’s Ben, a mechanical engineer here at 3D Hubs.

I’m creating this thread to be an open field for any questions relating to SLA 3D printing, whether it’s material recommendations or design tips. I’d love to hear your expertise and your questions!

So fire your questions away and lets get knowledge sharing!




I got your email with the link to the article on design for SLA printing. I looked over that site and did come up with a few questions.

1st: Why are you so down on FDM printing? You list a whole number of problems with FDM including that it often needs support and hint the SLA does not, yet your pictures show things like the above. Why no mention of supports in SLA printing?

2nd: How far behind the times are you? With my newest printer, I am successfully printing 1mm pins even though you mention a couple of times that FDM can not go below 5mm and then suggest going to SLA. Why?

3rd: Why do you figure that SLA is so much better and far superior? I will grant that there are things that SLA does better, but that gap is rapidly narrowing.

Hi @RCole

George here from 3D Hubs, thanks for your questions and for taking a look at the email we sent over.

1st - Let me start off by saying we’re definitely not down on FDM, we think it’s capabilities are amazing and will be showcasing it in our next mail! We compare the two in the article as they tend to be our two most popular materials. Within the “print orientation part” of the Designing Parts for SLA article we discuss all the ways in which support affects an SLA print, as it’s an integral part of the process. It’s also discussed in the post processing article we sent over in the mail too.

2nd - We understand FDM is capable of amazing things in the hands of talented owners such as yourself, but to not raise expectations super high we try to be realistic and work with the averages we see on the platform.

3rd - Just to add again, its not so much better or superior we’re just listing it’s capabilities. It does certain things better and certain things worse like you say, we’re just trying to help provide resources so everyone can find the right material for them.

Hope this helped answer some of your questions, what printers are you currently running?

Thanks again,


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Hi @Redwood

I think I must have missed the email that’s being discussed in this thread (although I would be interested in seeing it). I operate both FDM machines (Wanhao, Prusa i3 MK2S etc.) as well as SLA machines (Form 2). From my experience there are certainly some prints that are better suited to each method of printing. There are items that may seem quite simple and viable for the Form 2 for example but would actually be better suited to a high detail FDM print. Large, flat, thin pieces for example can cause quite a bit of hassle for the Form 2 due to the peeling mechanic between layers exerting quite a bit of flexural force which often leads to failed or imperfect prints.

I essentially just wanted to offer a different perspective to that provided by @RCole as someone who both uses and offers services employing both technologies. If anyone has any questions about the day to day usage of an SLA in the 3Dhubs setting I would be more than happy to answer them as best I can.



Hi @Alexi, thanks for contributing to the thread. Here are the links to the articles we sent out:

Designing parts for SLA 3D Printing
Post processing for SLA printed parts
Industrial SLA/DLP vs. Desktop SLA/DLP​

As discussed below by @Gfisherwils we really want to make sure people are selecting the technology that is best suited for their application. It is great to hear that as a Hub this is something you also encourage.



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Hello ive got a xyz Priting Nobel 1.0, the printer dont print correctly. It only prints the Bottom on the Aluminium plate, the rest wont be printed. In most cases, the print thing lays in the resin tank as a plate. I dont understand this. Hope so much you can help me. Thank you much

I’ll divide this up since work is very different from home.

At home, I’m using a Prusa Mk2. The 101Hero never did work and is shelved.

At work we have Ultimaker 2+ machines (2 banks of 100 machines plus various others through the company), a Taz 5, various (and I do mean various) Stratasys printers and the newest (and largest) HP printers. There are others in different offices dedicated to different functions.

101 Hero I heard similar things about, seems a shame but then again it’s kind of in line with the new generation of Kickstarter printers although at least you received a machine!

Wow, that’s some serious capacity sounds like your company is doing a lot of prototyping. With the new HP machine, have you had a chance to use it or get something printed?

No, I have not had the opportunity, myself, to work with the HP machines.

And, we’re not prototyping with the printers. They are being used for limited production (smaller runs) and for parts that may require a lot of customization.

I’m running a hub in Stockholm, printing with a Prusa i3 MK2, one gCreate gMax and one Cetus 3D atm.
Thinking of getting a Form 2 since I want one but I would like to know how much of 3D hubs orders that actually a Form 2 would bring in? I’ve tried to search but I havnt found any good stats regarding type of orders when it comes to FDM/SLA.

Hi, first thanks for your detailed and rigorous guide .We have a hub in Tianjin,Chinese mainland.Until now we have got a desktop SLA printer and an industrial SLA printer.But we have some problems in post processing for translucent parts. Especially for processing the scratches on the surface made by polishing work ,the scratches are so obvious that influence the whole appearance.So,woud you like to give me some advices about the processing methods?

Hi, thanks for your questions.

We wrote a guide on post processing here: Post processing for SLA printed parts | Hubs

what is the best way to have high quantities of a part made of stainless steel that is 9 inches long, hollow center and 3mm think with some detail to the object. CNC, Mold ECT/