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Overview: How SLS 3D printing works?

What is Selective Laser Sintering?

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an industrial 3D printing process ideal for manufacturing end-use parts. In SLS, a laser selectively sinters polymer powder particles, fusing them together and building a part layer-by-layer. SLS produces functional plastic parts with isotropic mechanical properties that can be used for detailed prototyping or end-use low-volume production.

The Basics Of SLS 3D Printing

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an industrial 3D printing process that produces accurate prototypes and functional production parts in as fast as 1 day. Multiple nylon-based materials are available, which create highly durable final parts.
A thin layer of plastic powder is selectively melted by a laser. The parts are built up layer by layer in the powder bed.
A laser sintering machine will coat a layer of plastic powder onto a build platform, which is melted by a laser (or multiple lasers). The build platform will then be lowered and the next layer of plastic powder will be laid out on top. By repeating the process of laying out powder and melting where needed, the parts are built up in the powder bed.

Selective laser sintering(SLS)

When the build finishes, the entire powder bed with the encapsulated parts is moved into a breakout station, where it is raised up, and parts are broken out of the bed. An initial brushing is manually administered to remove a majority of loose powder. Parts are then bead blasted to remove any of the remaining residual powder before ultimately reaching the finishing department.

Features of SLS

Advantages
Durability
Nylon is a durable material with great impact strength, medium flexibility, and high resistance to environmental factors.
Rapid Turnaround
Parts can typically be shipped in 3-4 days, allowing for faster design iterations and speed to market.
Parts Production
SLS is capable of producing end-use parts on-demand, increasing throughput.
Complex Geometry
Geometries can be built more easily due to the 3D printing process, adding complexity without additional cost.
Scalability
SLS can make a single part or component as easily as dozens of production pieces.
Precision
We use the latest generation of SLS technologies to meet tolerances of +/- 0.005” or +/- 0.002” per inch, whichever is greater.
Drawbacks
Material Limits
Now SLS has only Nylon 12(white, black) & Glass-filled Nylon (PA 12 GF) material, but we can expect metal and fullcolor plastic material coming soon!
Scale Effect
The unit cost and lead time will not be reduced as much as casted or molded parts.

SLS General Tolerances

Feature Tolerance
General Tolerances +/- 0.005” for the first inch is typical, plus +/- 0.002” for every inch thereafter.
Build Area Build area up to 13" x 13" x 20". Glass filled can extend up to 26" x 15" x 23".
Minimum Feature Size 0.030" or greater.
Dimensional accuracy ± 0.3% with a lower limit of ± 0.3 mm (± 0.012”)
Standard Layer Thickness 0.0045"

Surface Finish and Post-Processing Options

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STANDARD Bead blast to remove all powder, which leaves a consistent overall texture.
CUSTOM Secondary options include a primer or dye color that can be applied as well as taps and inserts.

Our CUSTOM surface finishes

Here is a list of standard surface finishes. For custom surface finishes such as electroplating or polishing, please contact sales@pcbway.com.
Spray painting
Get painted according to the color pattern provided by the customer (Including matte paint, high-gloss paint, electroplating-imitation paint, varnish, leather paint,etc).
Spray painting
Polished
The surface texture is polished in a variety of ways to meet the actual needs of customers. The transparent parts can be polished accordingly to improve transparency and light transmittance.
Polished
Electroplating
Provide electroplating services, improve the overall strength of the parts, provide metal-like surface texture, and make it have certain metal characteristics.
Metal plating
Inlay nut
At the specific bottom hole position that needs to be processed, the internal thread is processed.
Inlay nut
Glazing assembly
The surface of the part is glazed to better imitate the appearance of handicrafts. Have mature assembly experience to ensure the overall display of the product.
Glazing assembly
Reinforced coating
The unique outer coating processing ability improves the strength of the product structure, reduces external wear, and can better avoid damage caused by normal storage and use.
Reinforced coating
Testing Service
A variety of measuring equipment provides reasonable measure services according to the actual needs of customers.
Testing Service

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