A DLP 3D printer is used in the additive manufacturing process where objects are created by a 3D printer that uses a digital light projector (DLP) as the light source for curing photo-reactive polymers. There are advantages and disadvantages to a DLP 3D printer over other types of printing methods such as SLA. Which printing method is the most efficient is a common topic of debate within the additive manufacturing industry.
The first and most noticeable difference between a DLP 3D printer and an SLA is size. Because DLP 3D printers have to house the actual projector, they tend to be much larger than their SLA counterparts. Another difference with a DLP 3D printer is that the technology doesn’t have the tried and true reputation that SLA has; stereolithography has been widely used since the 80s. For users looking for predictable results this can be a factor regardless of the general lower cost of DLP machines. Both technologies use vats of photopolymer as the primary way of making objects. However, some companies like EnvisionTEC make DLP 3D printers that can also use materials like rubber and thermoplastics.