While trying to figure out if I should start 3D printing with FDM (Creality Ender 3) or with SLA (Elegoo Mars), I got hooked on the bonus feature of attaching a laser upgrade on the 3d printer to make paper cutouts and cards. I read that its quite easy for the Ender 3 and dozens of other FDM printer, but I could not find anything about adding a laser to resin printers.

Question: Is it possible at all to attach a laser engraving module to a SLA 3D Printer like it can be done to FDM?

Additional information about pro/cons regarding this topic would be nice and are truly welcome.

  • $\begingroup$ Why would you want to? A resin printer has no mechanism for securing your paper stock to the build plate. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jan 28 '20 at 14:47

Not with consumer equipment.

FDM printers are functionally three-axis motion control machines: "extrude quantity W material at position X Y Z, continue to next W, X, Y, and Z."

Adapting it to control a laser position is a relatively simple task, because most of the logic is the same. "fire laser for W duration" instead of "extrude quantity W material". Moving the laser around is functionally similar to moving the print head around.

Consumer SLA (aka "DLP" or "mSLA") is an entirely different logic, a different process. It is effectively layer-by-layer snapshots, rather than multi-axis motion control. They do a whole layer at a time, then lift the whole object up for the next layer: "flash layer 1 for W duration, lift bed Z, proceed to layer 2."

Professional/industrial SLA printers that use lasers exist (like SLS), but they're tuned to precisely cure photopolymer resins, not cut things.


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