Selective Laser Sintering, or SLS, is a rapid
prototyping technology that turns 3D CAD data into physical parts in a matter of hours.
SLS is an additive manufacturing technology that uses powdered Nylon 11, Nylon 12 and
PEEK materials. Parts produced are light-weight, highly durable, and both heat and chemical
resistant, making SLS an excellent choice for producing production parts without the
expense of tooling. The SLS process begins by splitting 3D CAD
data into thin cross-sections or layers. The data is then transferred to the SLS additive
manufacturing equipment. The machine then begins to create the first
layer. After a leveling roller spreads a thin layer of powdered material across the powder
bed, a CO2 laser traces the cross-section on the material. As the laser scans the surface,
material is heated and fused together. Once a single layer is complete, the powder bed
is lowered to make room for the next layer. More material is introduced from the powder
cartridge and rolled out smooth, while unused material is recycled. The process is repeated,
building layer upon layer until the part is complete.
As SLS parts are built, they are encompassed by unsintered powder which provides supplemental
strength and eliminates the need for support structures.
Complex designs and assemblies once thought impossible are now being redesigned with SLS
as cost-effective integrated structures. Solid Concepts manufactures parts utilizing nylon
with property enhancing fillers to create rugged SLS parts suitable for a variety of
prototype and production applications. Typical uses for SLS include: tools and fixtures,
fuel tanks, flight rated components for unmanned aerial vehicles, automotive designs, air-ducts,
architectural models and artistic sculptures. For more information, visit: http://www.solidconcepts.com/technologies/selective-laser-sintering-sls/