Selective laser sintering (SLS) produces tough parts with high temperature resistance that are stable over time. SLS is often the technology we use for producing end-use parts. We have also developed sealing techniques to make our parts air tight, and water or chemical resistant.
To ensure your components have the mechanical properties you have specified, we build and test mechanical test bars on every SLS build. The mechanical data we publish is always from actual results, as opposed to taken from the manufacturers’ data sheets.
Among other types of post processing, selective laser sintering (SLS) parts can be sanded, painted, plated, tapped, or even machined. This allows for a higher grade of smoothness and appearance to selective laser sintering (SLS) parts and assemblies and also gives users an unlimited number of ways to use selective laser sintering (SLS) parts.
These durable and functional selective laser sintering (SLS) materials include DuraForm and DuraForm glass-filled (GF) which are nylon based materials that create plastic prototypes. Other selective laser sintering (SLS) materials are CastForm used for investment casting patterns, selective laser sintering (SLS) Flex for elastomeric, rubber-like parts, and selective laser sintering (SLS) LaserForm which makes metal prototypes.
Each of these materials requires little to no post build processing to be ready to use which cuts out several steps in post processing of selective laser sintering (SLS) parts as compared to stereolithography (SLA). However, all of the selective laser sintering (SLS) materials can be finished in multiple ways to meet the desire or needs of selective laser sintering (SLS) users.
How Does Selective Laser Sintering Work?
The Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machine begins sintering each layer of part geometry into a heated bed of nylon-based powder. After each layer is fused, a roller moves across the bed to distribute the next layer of powder. The process is repeated layer by layer until the build is complete.
When the build finishes, the entire powder bed with the encapsulated parts is moved into a breakout station, where it is raised up, 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.
Benefits for SLS 3D printing
The distinct advantage of SLS is that the part is fully self-supporting. This allows for extremely complex geometry to be achieved, something that could not have been created in any other way.
- No need for structural supports.
- Parts can be created out of a selection of nylon materials.
- High accuracy, +/-0.12mm per 100mm depending on geomotry
- Capable of producing intricate detail and thin walls, 1mm is ideal.
- Materials certified for use in aerospace, medical and food applications.
- Fully functional plastic parts.
- High tensile strength.
- Fast build times.
- Mechanical properties of Nylon parts.
Applications for SLS 3D printing
- Functional end use parts
- High temperature
- Snap fits and living hinges
- Rapid tooling
- Durability testing