What is Selective Laser Sintering?
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an industrial 3D printing process ideal for manufacturing end-use parts. In SLS, a laser selectively sinters polymer powder particles, fusing them and building a part layer-by-layer. SLS produces functional plastic parts with isotropic mechanical properties that can be used for detailed prototyping or end-use low-volume production.
The Basics Of SLS 3D Printing
Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an industrial 3D printing process that produces accurate prototypes and functional production parts in as fast as 1 day. Multiple nylon-based materials are available, which create highly durable final parts.
A thin layer of plastic powder is selectively melted by a laser. The parts are built up layer by layer in the powder bed.
A laser sintering machine will coat a layer of plastic powder onto a build platform, which is melted by a laser (or multiple lasers). The build platform will then be lowered and the next layer of plastic powder will be laid out on top. By repeating the process of laying out powder and melting where needed, the parts are built up in the powder bed.
When the build finishes, the entire powder bed with the encapsulated parts is moved into a breakout station, where it is raised, and parts are broken out of the bed. An initial brushing is manually administered to remove a majority of loose powder. Parts are then bead blasted to remove any of the remaining residual powder before ultimately reaching the finishing department.
Features of SLS
Nylon is a durable material with great impact strength, medium flexibility, and high resistance to environmental factors.
SLS is capable of producing end-use parts on demand, increasing throughput.
SLS can make a single part or component as easily as dozens of production pieces.