Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)SLS is a similar technology to SLA. It uses a laser beam to trace and selectively build a part layer by layer. The main difference is SLS sinters a powdered polymer composite material into successive cross-sections to create a 3D part. The platform drops down and more powder is deposited by a roller and the next layer is then sintered. Unlike SLA, SLS doesn’t require any support structures and the un-sintered material acts as the supports. Once finished the part is removed and all excess powdered is brushed away. The part is typically bead blasted and/or sanded to remove powder caught in holes and tight spaces.
Materials include Nylon, glass filled nylon, aluminum filled nylon, styrene based casting materials, rubber like materials and more.
Benefits of SLS 3D Printing
- The strongest plastic/composite parts available
- Fast build speed
- Good surface finish
- No support structures
- Recycle all unused materials
- Ability to build large parts – up to 22 x 22 x 18 inches
- Many materials available including glass and aluminum filled materials.
Applications for SLS 3D printing
- Functional end use parts
- High temperature
- Snap fits and living hinges
- Rapid tooling
- Durability testing