Selective laser sintering (SLS) is a generative 3D layering manufacturing method, a form of additive manufacturing during which a homogeneous high-density workpiece is constructed layer by layer from powdered raw materials without any binders. The powdered raw material is, for example, a plastic material, plastic coated moulding sand, metal or a ceramic powder.
The powder is applied to the complete surface of a base plate with a squeegee or a roller and the individual layers are fused into the powder bed step by step by directing the laser beam following the layer contour of the workpiece. Processing takes place vertically layer by layer, whereby the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness and a new layer of material is applied. The typical layer thickness for all materials is 15–150 µm.
The powder fuses locally through the laser energy and hardens again afterwards. During the production process the workpiece is protected by the surrounding powder, which is simply brushed off at the end of the process and can partly be used again for the next piece. Laser sintering can create any desired three-dimensional workpiece with undercuts and interlacing, which cannot be produced with conventional mechanical manufacturing or casting techniques.
With laser sintering, process times depend on the generated volume of the workpiece. Basic requirements for laser sintering are three-dimensional geometric data of the workpiece, usually in an STL-format, processed as layer data, so that numerous layers can be created by so-called “slicing”.
- Max. Length: 300 mm
- Max. Width: 300 mm
- Max. Height: 550 mm