Polymer Powder Bed Fusion
Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an Additive Manufacturing (AM) technique which uses lasers as its power source to sinter powdered material into a mass that has a desired three-dimensional shape. The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3D model of the part on the surface of a powder bed. After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed.
- Strength: Since the laser is actually melting the powder together, the part is very strong.
- Detailed Features:Very detailed features can be created because the laser point is very small.
- Powder Bed Provides Support Structure: Unlike non-powder-based processes, SLS uses the powder that surrounds the part to support over-hanging features instead of having to build and later remove support structure.
- Simple Post-Processing: When the part is made, the user merely retrieves it from the powder bed and brushes off any remaining powder.
- Recyclability: All leftover powder in the build chamber can be reused in the next build.