Making a shoe sole with a 3D printer is no longer anything new to the public. Yet there are several 3D printing technologies for shoe soles, and many shoe sole related customer get confused with how to make the best choice. Most frequently compared are DLP resin printers and industrial SLA 3D printers. After talking with a number of shoe mold customers with experience both in desktop DLP printers and Kings SLA 3d printer, wehave learned the following：
1. The DLP screen was generally small and only one or one pair of shoe sole could be printed at a time. Industrial SLA 3D Printers have much bigger printing volume, and is suitable for both small batch and mass production of sole models.
2. DLP and SLA have different option in layer thickness, but what are chosen in most cases is both between 0.05-0.1mm. It means general details have no big difference. However, due to its light project theory of DLP, vertical lines are unavoidable; whereas the surface is smoother with SLA in general, because the resin is solidified by laser spot. Esp. printing effects of DLP such as sharp corners or diamond patterns are always not satisfactory compared to those printed with SLA 3D printers.
3. DLP 3D Printers are much more friendly than industrial level of SLA 3D Printers; however, DLP resin is generally more expensive in price.
1 or 2 shoes only at one time
multiple pairs of shoes at the same time
Vertical lines are unavoidable due to light projection theory
Surface is smooth in general, because the resin is solidified by laser spot
Based on above information, we can summarize that when we plan to have the machine for checking design only (without using it for real production), and the shoes to be printed is only in very small quantity, desktop DLP is a much economic choice.
On the other hand, for shoe design studios, shoe soles companies, and esp. for shoe mold companies who use the 3D printed sole as master model to get metal shoe mold for mass production, industrial SLA 3D printer will be the right choice. Reasons include but not are not limited to higher accuracy, faster efficiency, sharp details and economic resin in the long run.
- Kings 6035Pro, 600*350*350mm, can print about 4-5 pairs of sole models at one time.
- Kings 600Pro, 600*600*400mm, can print about 8-10 pairs of sole models at one time.
Related question: What materials should we choose for 3D printing shoes?