Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an advanced 3D printing technology that uses a high-powered laser to fuse powdered materials, typically nylon, layer by layer to create solid parts.

Why use Selective Laser Sintering?

This method is well-suited for producing complex geometries and high-quality functional prototypes without needing support structures. Use case scenarios include manufacturing durable automotive and aerospace components, creating lightweight yet strong parts for medical devices, and rapid prototyping for product development. SLS is also utilized for producing end-use parts and low to medium batch production runs in various industries due to its capability to deliver high-strength, mechanically robust parts.

Benefits of SLS

Benefits

Best suited for

Materials for SLS

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.

High Complexity and Design Freedom

Durable and Functional Parts

Cost-Effective for Low to Medium Batch Production

Applications

Applications in high-performance industries:

Motorsport

Marine Racing

Advantages

Engineering advantages:

Functional Prototypes and End-Use Parts

Engineers use SLS to rapidly prototype intricate components like suspension parts, engine covers, and interior parts that need to withstand high temperatures and mechanical stresses.

SLS parts can be used directly in the vehicle for testing or end-use, saving time and costs by bypassing traditional manufacturing steps.

Rapid Iteration and Testing

SLS enables marine engineers to quickly produce and test new designs, allowing for rapid iterations and optimizations. This is particularly useful for parts that need to meet specific hydrodynamic requirements.

The Selective Laser Sintering process

The SLS process uses a bed of powdered material which is fused a layer at a time by a high power, CO2 laser.

The laser ‘draws’ a single layer cross-section of the required part on the surface of the powder bed, accurately creating the part layer and joining it to the layer below.

When each layer has been completed, the powder bed lowers and the process is repeated one layer at a time until the required object is complete. During construction, an object being built by SLS is supported by the surrounding powder – it is possible therefore to build very complex geometries without any need for interfering support structures. In this way the SLS process allows previously impossible shapes to be built.

The SLS process overview

Preparation

A bed of powdered material is evenly spread.

Laser Sintering

A high-power CO2 laser traces and sinters each cross-section of the part.

Layer-by-layer Construction

The powder bed lowers, and new layers are added and sintered until the part is complete

Post-processing

Parts are cooled and undergo additional finishing processes to achieve desired mechanical properties and surface quality.

CASE STUDIES

Technology-specific case studies

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