TECH Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
How it works
SLS uses materials with high durability qualities and with good mechanical properties thanks to the “fusion” of the different layers; moreover the type of laser used allows for time effective construction of the prototype.
Laser Sintering is an additive technology 3D printing process that uses powdered material.
The material used for tests and for functional use is Nylon (durable polyamide), which has very similar properties to the production material.
Glass or aluminium can be added to the base material in order to increase the resistance or rigidity of the prototype.
The construction process is divided into the following phases.
The chamber in which the sintering (binding of the powder) takes place is kept in an inert atmosphere and at a temperature close to that of the fusion of the material (185°C), both to minimize the energy required by the laser and to minimize the change in volume that occurs during transformation.
A layer of powder is deposited by a roller and pressed onto the powder bed,
The laser radiation sinters (binds) the powder creating a cross-section of the profile (CO2 lasers are used with a far superior power to those used in stereolithography).
The powder bed is then lowered by the thickness of the cross-section and the process is repeated until the model is completed.
Thanks to the method of construction, supports are not necessary during creation of the model, which is instead supported by the surrounding non-sintered powder. The finished model (red part) does not usually require any post-process treatment other than the removal of excess powder.
However the process tends to be longer than in other RP techniques as the machine has to reach 185°C before beginning the construction process and, once finished, complete cooling of the chamber has to take place (this takes 4-5 days).
Maximum size of piece: 380x320x400H mm. When the size of the prototype exceeds these dimensions it is created in different parts that are subsequently assembled.
Typical applications. Complex tubing that requires thin walls: Motorsports, Aerospace / Containers and enclosures / Fans and connectors / Consumer sports equipment/ Vehicle dashboards and grilles / Snap-fit designs / Functional prototypes with performance properties similar to finished products / Perfect for low to mid-volume rapid manufacturing / Medical applications requiring USP Class VI compliance or biocompatibility / Parts requiring machining / Complex production and prototyping of plastic parts / Form, fit, or functional verification prototypes.
Features. Excellent surface resolution and detail accuracy / Easy-to-process / Compliant with USP Class VI testing / Compatible with autoclave sterilization / Good chemical resistance and low moisture absorption.
Advantages. Well-balanced mechanical properties and processability / Creates prototypes that withstand functional testing / Produces durable end-use parts without requiring tooling / Creates accurate and replicable parts / Can be subsequently machined and varnished.
Available materials. DURAFORM PA. DURAFLEX
Visual appearance: White polyamide (Nylon) with a smooth finish
Layer thickness: 0,1 mm
Minimum wall thickness of the model: ≥ 0,8 mm
Max. Build Envelope XYZ: 380x320x400H mm
When the size of the prototype exceeds these dimensions it is created in several parts that are subsequently assembled.