SLA Fast Prototyping Machine

A high-precision 3D prototyping machine is available to Viterbi faculty and researchers for use for creating detailed, complex components. The machine is located in the Petroleum and Chemical Engineering Building (PCE) 401. It was obtained by Viterbi Research Professor Wei-Min Shen, who coordinates its use. Costs are based on an hourly rate and are part of the User Agreement included below. For more information about the equipment’s capabilities, and to schedule time on the machine, please contact Dr. Shen at

USC User Agreement for Using the High-Precision Fast Prototyping SLA Machine

November 21, 2007

I. Procedure for USC internal and external users:

  1. Users submit CAD design STL files to the Polymorphic Robotics Lab (attention to Professor Wei-Min Shen) at ISI (;
  2. PRL/ISI estimate (i) the cost in terms of the number of hours required to produce the parts, and (ii) the cost of the material;
  3. User agrees with the estimated cost;
  4. PRL/ISI produce the parts for the user and send an invoice to the user;
  5. The user pays the cost to PRL/ISI.

II. Machine Cost
Hourly cost for using the SLA machine is $186.79 per hour. (The detailed price breakdown is available at the Viterbi School of Engineering Dean’s Office from Linda Rock, Associate Dean of Administration upon request to

III. Material Cost
Material cost is estimated to be $423/kg if purchased through ISI, or $489/kg if purchased through USC campus, or whatever cost if the users purchase by themselves.

V. Responsibility
PRL/ISI will be fully responsible for the use and maintenance of the SLA machine.

Appendix: An Informative Example
As a small example to illustrate the cost, to produce an outer-frame shell for a regular cell phone (small but very complex) would probably require 0.5 hour machine time and 20g of material, if one produce a set of them (say 10) in a batch mode. So the cost for each shell when produced in a batch would be $186.79*.5 + $423*.02 = $101.86. To be economic for machine time, users are encouraged to produce parts in the batch mode.