Complex, high-performance parts made simple
Are you looking for an additive technology that you can use to build parts with complex, organic geometries that are also durable? Whether you’re a designer or engineer, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) offers you the freedom to create intricate, high-quality parts with unmatched precision.
SLS can produce parts with finer details than most other additive processes that use high-strength plastics. The composition is one of the more isotropic available from additive manufacturing. Fathom offers a wide range of machine sizes and capacity to meet all your SLS production needs.
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How Does Selective Laser Sintering Work?
Selective Laser Sintering uses a blade to spread a thin layer of powder over the build platform. A laser is used to sinter or fuse a 2D cross-section of the part together. The laser over-penetrates into the layer below it, also adhering the top layer to the one below it. The build platform then drops one layer and the process begins again until the part is finished.
Parts are then excavated from the build powder cake. Excess powder is removed and can be reused. The powder also acts as a support structure, eliminating the need for extra support structures that would then have to be removed in post-processing.
Applications of Selective Laser Sintering
Concept models: Because SLS can be used to produce complex shapes with fine detail, it’s a preferred technique for creating concept models.
Rapid prototypes: Producing parts in SLS is fast and affordable. That makes it an excellent choice for new product innovation and rapid iteration of prototype parts. Additive manufacturing can help you avoid the expense of reworking, or even worse, completely scrapping an expensive mold.
Bridge production: Tooling lead times for large injection molded parts tend to be quite long. SLS parts can be used to fill the gap until your tools are available.
Durable production parts: The isotropic strength of SLS parts gives them excellent mechanical strength in a variety of demanding applications.
Mass-customized parts: SLS makes it easy to simultaneously produce multiple versions of a prototype part design, or to customize part designs and quickly produce new part variations to meet fast-changing customer needs.
Industries where SLS parts are used include:
- Medical devices
- Aerospace parts
- Automotive components
What Does SLS Make Possible?
Large parts: Parts can be built in a wide range of sizes using Selective Laser Sintering. If a part is too large to build on a printer, Fathom can easily produce it in sections and then expertly bond it together. Need large parts? Fathom has the machines and capacity to meet your needs.
Complex part designs: Selective Laser Sintering can be used to produce parts with complex geometries and fine levels of surface detail that are hard to achieve with other additive manufacturing technologies. It can accommodate organic, parametric and non-parametric shapes. Except for the minimum feature size of 1 mm, there are no limitations to the complexity of shapes that can be created with Selective Laser Sintering.
Excellent durability: Because of their excellent layer adhesion, parts produced using SLS have nearly isotropic material properties. That makes them very durable with excellent surface characteristics.
Print multiple parts in a single build: Because the powdered material serves as a support structure for the parts as they’re being fabricated, parts can be stacked in the Z direction, enabling you to get more parts out of each build.
Sustainability: No supports also means less wasted material. Most of the powder used in an SLS build can be recycled. That contributes to more affordable part costs and a greater focus on sustainability than other additive manufacturing techniques.
Affordable: SLS is cost-effective for prototyping and low production parts (up to about 1,000 pieces).