There is now a huge range of SLA materials with very good mechanical properties. Star-Prototype uses DSM Somos 14120 which closely simulates ABS thermoplastic. Star-Prototype mostly uses SLA models as Master Patterns to make silicone rubber moulds for vacuum casting of Polyurethane.
Selective Laser Sintering was commercially developed in the mid 1980′s in Texas, although a similar process dates to 1979. It too is a laminated manufacturing process, but uses a much higher power laser to sinter plastic powder together to form a 3D prototype. The most typical material used is Polyamide/Nylon. It is also possible to have glass filled Nylon. Historically it was considered that SLS parts were more durable than SLA, but as SLA materials improve, this gap is narrowing. SLS is also considered quite wasteful as up to 30% of all non-converted powder removed so as to refresh the powder stock. SLA has almost no material waste.