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Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
What is Selective Laser Sintering?
Selective Laser Sintering also known as Powder Bed Fusion is the process to build 3D printed parts in polymer powder that is sintered together via a laser. A thin layer of powder is layered across the build platform via a re-coater which is then melted by the laser(s). The build platform lowers by the defined layer height and another layer of powder is then deposited across the part. The laser then melts the new powder layer and it is sintered to the previous layer to create a 3D object and the process is repeated until the parts are created.
SLS systems do not require additional support material as the un-sintered powder supports the parts that are subjected to the melting process via the laser(s) therefore lots of parts can be manufactured inside the same build volume at once. Parts can be manufactured close together and even inside each other to maximise the total build volume.
The polymer is manufactured inside a controlled heated environment and under a protective gas environment such as Nitrogen.
Why Choose Selective Laser Sintering?
- Layer thickness of 0.08mm to 0.2mm
- Thermoplastic materials for end use performance parts
- Materials with good mechanical properties
- Low price parts compared to other technologies
- Industry approved materials
- Can manufacture lots of parts in one build
- Does not require support material
- Large build volumes available
- System investment can be high compared to other technologies
- Difficult and time consuming to change materials
- Requires skilled user