Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) - 3d Printing - Rapid Prototype Service

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a layer additive production process that creates three-dimensional objects using a CO2 laser to melt, or sinter, and fuse selective powder molecules based on information supplied by a computer-aided design (CAD) file.

The powder material that is fused during the selective laser sintering (SLS) process is commonly called thermoplastic material or, in some cases, thermoplastic binders for use in metals. The selective laser sintering (SLS) technology allows for these materials to be fused together in tiny layers ranging between .003″ and .006″. This allows selective laser sintering (SLS) to create parts with accurate details and tolerances comparable to stereolithography (SLA).

Selective Laser Sintering Standard Tolerances: +/- 0.005″ for the first inch, +/- 0.002” on every inch thereafter

This type of 3d printing has been around for decades and it has its uses.  Due to tolerance constraints, SLS is mostly used for proof of concept.

We offer the following  3d printing services.   Before choosing the right service for your project take the time to understand each process.

Although 3-d printing has become the big buzz over the past few years, the technology is over 30 years old. Given the limitations on quality and speed to make an individual part, 3d printing still lags behind in traditional methods such as injection molding and cnc machining.  However, when proving concept and fit with some functionality requirements, 3d printing can be a good choice.

Consider the following chart when deciding which Rapid Manufacturing service is best for your project;

Process Type                            Requirements

  Process Type     Function     Fit     Testing     Proof of  
concept
  Tolerance  
<.005 in
Visual
   Quality   
Plastic  Material  
  Selection  
Metal  Material  
  Selection  
  Per Piece  
Price
  Tooling  
Cost
Tooling Life
Expectancy
3d Printing

Limited

Yes

no

Yes

Limited

Limited

Limited

Limited

High

N/A N/A
Injection Molding  

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Unlimited

Limited

Low

Low-

Mid

Unlimited

CNC Machining

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Limited

Unlimited

High

N/A N/A
Cast Urethane

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Limited

Limited

Limited

N/A

High

High

< 50