February 2018

New video: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

What is SLS?

Good question. We understand that technical terms aren’t for everyone, so if you would prefer to see the process in action, click the YouTube link below. If you’re not an engineer or tech fan, have a read of our definition.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a process by which nylon powder is heated to just below its melting temperature before the part is drawn layer by layer using an argon laser; the laser raising the temperature enough to melt where it draws to sinter the material.

Unsintered powder acts as the support structure during the build, allowing for complex geometry and full utilisation of the build volume, giving a route to additive manufacturing.

This technology allows SLS to be the most robust additive manufacturing processes.

SLS in action for RuRoC

We used this method when asked by RuRoC, a manufacturer of technically advanced headwear, to produce a prototype for their innovative snowboarding helmet. Check it out here.

When is SLS most appropriate for my model or prototype?

When something more robust than SLA (Stereolithography) is required, or you require a ‘quick look see’ part, SLS should be used. Because no support structure is needed, SLS is great for producing parts with very complex internal and external geometries and multiples of the same part.

What shouldn’t I use SLS for?

Parts requiring a crisp finish or clear parts. Certain long and thin or extra chunky parts will require additional attention, or they are at risk of warping or shrinkage.

Ok, I’m interested.

Great! Give us a call on +44 (0) 1462 682 661 or at [email protected] to discuss.

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For more information about this article or to speak to one of our expert team, call us
on +44 (0) 1462 682 661 or email us at [email protected].