An introduction to

Digital Light Processing (DLP)

Digital light processing (DLP) is a 3D printing process that uses resin and a digital projector screen to flash an image of a layer across the entire platform, curing all points simultaneously.

Exceptional accuracy – DLP printers have the ability to print with high accuracy close to the CAD design.

Smooth surface finish – Resin 3D printers offer some of the thinnest layer heights of all 3D printing processes, resulting in some of the finest Z resolutions. With options normally between 25-300 microns in layer height, designers are free to balance between speed and detail.

What's the Best DLP Printer?

While all DLP 3D printers form parts in a similar way, their capabilities and performance may differ a lot.

Material Compatibility – Some are only compatible with handful of materials, while others have a much large material portfolio in the dozens.

Size – The printable space, or build volume, can range from a few inches to a few feet in length, width and height.

Cost – Prices range from $3000 to $250,000. More affordable DLP 3D printers are generally smaller with limited material compatibility. DLP 3D printers on the pricier end are typically larger and can produce higher-resolution parts with improved part accuracy, machine reliability, and speed.


Figure 4


ETEC Xtreme 8K

The Xtreme 8K makes volume production of 3D-printed parts a reality, with the ability to print thousands of parts per day. With wide material compatibility, including hard plastics, high-temperature plastics, elastomers and rubbers, the Xtreme 8K enables the production of the broadest possible range of parts.

The Xtreme 8K leverages long-chain polymer chemistry to create fully-isotropic, stable, end-use parts, and features a heated vat, allowing users to process highly viscous and solid materials at room temperatures.

ETEC Envision One

The Envision One is a highly advanced 3D printer designed to produce high-quality and precise prints. It utilizes advanced DLP technology that can cure the entire layer of the resin at once, allowing for faster and more efficient printing. With a large build volume and fast print speeds, this 3D printer is perfect for professionals who require high precision and speed in their 3D printing projects.


The P4K is a revolutionary 3D printer that uses advanced UV DLP technology to produce high-quality prints with extreme accuracy. With its patented Pixel Tuning technology, it can produce prints with resolutions as high as 4K, making it ideal for applications that require high precision and detail. It also features a large build volume, fast printing speeds, and compatibility with a wide range of materials, making it a versatile and reliable 3D printer for professionals.


The D4K is a high-end 3D printer that utilizes advanced DLP technology to produce incredibly precise and accurate prints. It features a 4K resolution projector and advanced software that allows for fast and efficient printing. The D4K is perfect for applications that require high precision and detail, such as jewelry making, dental applications, and more. With its large build volume, fast printing speeds, and exceptional accuracy, the D4K is a top-of-the-line 3D printer for professionals.

Figure 4 Standalone

The Figure 4 Standalone is a compact, easy-to-use 3D printer designed for high-speed prototyping and production. With a build volume of 125 x 70 x 120 mm, it is capable of producing parts with accuracy and precision at speeds up to 100 mm per hour. The printer features a user-friendly interface and can print with a range of materials, including engineering-grade plastics and elastomers, making it ideal for a wide range of applications in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and healthcare.

Figure 4 Modular

The Figure 4 Modular is a scalable, high-performance 3D printing system that is designed for production environments. The printer features a modular architecture that allows for multiple printers to be connected and synchronized, enabling the production of high volumes of parts quickly and efficiently. With a build volume of 350 x 350 x 200 mm, the Figure 4 Modular is capable of producing large, complex parts with precision and accuracy. The printer also offers a range of materials, including tough, high-performance plastics, making it an ideal solution for a variety of industrial applications.

Figure 4 Production

The Figure 4 Production is a high-speed, high-volume 3D printing system that is designed for mass production. With a build volume of 380 x 380 x 350 mm, the Figure 4 Production is capable of producing large, complex parts with accuracy and precision at speeds up to 100 mm per hour. The printer features a modular design that allows for customization and scalability, making it an ideal solution for industrial applications such as aerospace, automotive, and healthcare. The Figure 4 Production also offers a range of materials, including production-grade plastics, enabling the production of high-quality, functional parts at scale.


DLP 3D printers use thermoplastic resins and ultraviolet curable resins in the process of converting photosensitive liquid into solid plastics layer-by-layer. The material characteristics on DLP 3D printers range in capabilities, including:

Transparent – Highly transparent materials capable of capturing fine levels of detail.
Rubber-like – A range of rubber-like elastomers with shore hardness from 50A-80A.
Rigid – Rigid resin that offers high levels of stiffness, and resistance to deformation.
Flexible – Flexible and durable polypropylene-like materials.
High Strength – Exceptionally durable materials meant for parts that will undergo high levels of strain or wear. Perfect for tools, jigs, and mechanical parts.
High Temp – This material is great for heat-resistant mounts, fixtures, and housings, due to its high heat deflection.
Medical Use – CE certified, biocompatible materials for medical devices. Biocompatible materials usable in medical devices. CE Certified, able to be sterilized at high temperatures.
Casting – Resin purpose-built for casting, good for jewelry and metal casting.


DLP 3D printers have been used for many different reasons since the technology was invented in the 1980s. Even now, companies are discovering creative new ways to create business models and opportunities with the technology. Below are some industries and applications currently using DLP printers.

1. Aerospace
2. Automotive
3. Semiconductor
4. Consumer Goods
5. Consumer Electronics
6. Jewelry
7. Dental
8. Healthcare
9. Manufacturing
10. Sports

1. Prototyping
2. Short-run, End-use Parts
3. Production Parts
4. Concept Modeling
5. Tools, Dies and Patterns
6. Jigs and Fixtures
7. Jewelry Casting
8. Medical Devices
9. Drill Guides Production
10. Product Design