Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective laser sintering is similar to SLA. It uses a laser, but instead of photosensitive liquid, the laser heats a bed of thermoplastic powder. It sinters the powder, fusing it into larger chunks, again in a layer by layer process.

A roller first rolls a thin layer of powder onto the bed; the laser traces a cross section of the model, and when it finishes the bed moves down one layer and the roller rolls another layer of powder on.

From custompart.net:

To speed up the sintering process, the whole workable area inside the machine is heated up to just below the melting point of the plastic. This way the laser does not need to be as powerful and can move quicker through each layer.

Advantages?
• This method uses material similar to thermoplastic, so the models are rigid upon completion.
• A major advantage is that support structures are unnecessary; since the unsintered powder isn’t removed until the model is finished, it provides support.

Disadvantages?
• This process is not as accurate as SLA. Since it is difficult to control exactly how much powder gets sintered, models often come out grainy or with excess plastic on them.
• The models are also porous, so some sort of varnish is necessary to seal and strengthen them.
• The workable area must be cooled down when the model is finished, which, according to some companies that use SLS technology, can take up to two days.

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One Response to “Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)”

  1. Laserinformationen - Der Blog » Blog Archive » Rapid Prototyping Technologien Says:

    […] sich hier.Beschrieben werden (bis jetzt) die folgenden Technologien:SLA – StereolithographySLS – Selective Laser SinteringFDM – Fused Deposition ModelingLOM – Laminated Object Manufacturing3DP – 3-Dimensional […]

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