SLS 3D printing technology

Selective Laser sintering (SLS) is a powder bed technology that uses polymer powders. A laser beam allows particles to be selectively fused within a temperature-controlled chamber in such a way that the powder is self-supporting and there is no need for support structures. This technology offers excellent finishes with almost no post-processing. The optimal balance between properties and price has made SLS technology the most demanded technology in the industry.

 

3D printing process using SLS

Prior to manufacturing, it is crucial to nest the parts to achieve high volume densities in the build. The SLS printing process begins by heating the chamber just below the melting temperature of the polymer. Then, a compacting roller spreads the fine powder particles on the surface of the platform so that a laser can selectively sinter each layer of the part. When the layer is sintered, the entire platform is lowered a few microns to repeat this process over and over again until the parts are finished.

technical specifications of SLS technology

Types
  • Monolaser
Characteristics
  • 200 micron XY resolution 01.
  • Layer thickness of 110 microns 02.
  • Automatic quality control 03.
  • 10 W laser power 04.
Advantages
  • Nesting with high part density
  • No building supports required
  • Good tolerances
  • Anisotropic properties
  • Reduced part cost and manufacturing time

What is post-processing in SLS technology?

The cooling of the chamber must be controlled to avoid residual stresses and deformations in the parts. Once cooled, the chamber is opened to remove the surrounding material that has not been sintered by the laser. The unsintered powder can be reused in subsequent productions following a specific mixing ratio with the virgin powder. The parts are cleaned by compressed air and blasting to leave their surface clean of unsintered particles. Finally, the parts can be vapor smoothed and/or dyed.

The process step by step

1
3D file

– Send us your 3D file ready to print.
– If you do not have the file, send us the item and we will create the CAD file.
– If you need a design from zero, our designers will gladly prepare a quote for you.

2
3D Printing

– We will create the process file adapted to the technology and materials that will be used to produce your item.
– We prepare and condition the printer to guarantee optimum quality.

3
Cleaning and post processing

This step is key when meeting your requirements, and it is one that we are highly specialised in.
The removal of the printing support structures, heat treatments, and surface finishes (blasting, polishing, tooling) are some of the most common post processes.

Applications of SLS technology

SLS 3D printing has great potential for application in the industrial sector due to the quality of its parts. In addition, it is one of the most suitable 3D printing technologies for the production of short series, being more cost-effective than conventional technologies for batches of hundreds or even thousands of units.

Applications
Final parts
Complex geometries
Aesthetic parts
Prototyping
Short series
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3D printing with SLS

This service is available in the following materials. Take a look and decide which one best suits your needs.

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