Getting models and prototypes made is a foundational step in the development of any product. Research and Development departments of companies all over the world are constantly on the lookout for better ways to develop models based on their designs and blueprints. Making models by hand can be extremely time consuming and, often, less precise than machine-rolled models. This is why 3D printing is on the rise. More and more companies have found that sending their designs to a 3D printer and having them manufactured in resin is a great way to get a model of their design made up quickly and accurately.
Stereolithography (SLA) is the most common method of 3D printing. The reason that it is so popular is that it is both fast and accurate. A 3D printer utilizes high-tech SLA machinery to create durable resin models that can be used for patterns or even masters. These models are created with stunning accuracy from CAD (computer-aided design) files, and the level of detail that they contain is up to you. A simple model can be finished in as little as one day. It is truly incredible what technology has made possible in the field of model rendering and prototypes.
When deciding how you want your 3D printer to render your model, there is a fundamental trade-off between speed and detail. Obviously, the more detailed you want your model to be, the longer it will take to create. Typical model resolutions require layers of resin to be applied at 0.004 "thickness. High-resolution models, on the other hand, require thinner layers of 0.002" thickness. Because the 3D printing of high-resolution models requires more layers of this thin resin to be applied, it will take longer. It is up to you to decide just how accurate and detailed you need your model to be.
These innovations in 3D printing have opened up a new realm of possibilities in the world of research and development. Instead of having to wait days for a model to be tediously formed by hand, you can have it overnight. All you need to do is to send a CAD file to your 3D printer company, and you are good to go. You can get models made in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and most 3D printers will even offer to paint them for you so that you can get an idea of what the actual finished product will look like.