Selective Laser Sintering: state of art and new materials

SLS technology is experiencing a moment of intense innovation that translates into the production of automated systems and the development of materials based on nylon that allow the SLS to work with critical sectors such as aerospace.

Selective Laser Sintering

SLS technology is a technology that uses a 3D printer to sinter plastic powders inside a working chamber. At the end of the processing, the object is removed and separated from the non-sintered powders that can be reused, thus making the SLS technology one of the production processes with less waste of raw materials.

Since its introduction in the manufacturing industry, SLS technology has been widely used by engineers and designers for the construction of aesthetic prototypes with a high level of finishing and functional components that benefit from low manufacturing costs and a wide variety of materials available.

As often happens in the innovative sectors, the SLS technology is also experiencing a highly interesting evolutionary moment, destined to broaden the application areas in which the Selective Laser Sintering can be used.

SLS technology boasts a wide range of materials, usually based on nylon, with which it is possible to obtain elements of different strength, elasticity and resistance to temperatures. Even if the technology in question offers a wide range of choices to designers and engineers, there are some sectors that, by the nature of their requests, have been so far precluded to this production process. This happens, for example, with the food industry or the aerospace sector which requires self-extinguishing certification.

An object made by Selective Laser Sintering technology

"Research has taken significant steps, bringing new materials to the market that will allow the SLS to open up to different application areas. In Zare we have an FDA certified 12 Nylon that allows our food industry partners to also consider SLS for their applications. Likewise, a new self-extinguishing certified FAR 25283 material is the key to entering the aeronautical and railway sectors, sectors that already interface daily with our company ".
-Andrea Pasquali, General Manager-

The search for new materials is fundamental to offer increasingly efficient alternatives to customers, both as regards the progress of the technology under examination, but also when compared to other production processes. In this way the designers can combine the complex geometries and the high degree of finishing that are already available with the SLS technology with the peculiarities of the new materials.

The progress in the field of materials is accompanied by another progress, related to the plants and, more specifically, to the automation process that involves the SLS technology. From the hardware point of view, in fact, the new generation machines guarantee greater stability, repeatability and tolerance within the cube of dust. In the same way, with the new machines, the simulations are more precise and offer the operator reports with statistics, making the plants more complete.

“The progress of the plants regarding the automation processes is fundamental to allow us to maintain the certifications relating to the new materials".
-Giuseppe Pisciuneri, Sales Manager-

3D printer ProX SLS 6100

The introduction of 3D Systems' ProX SLS 6100 and the addition of new materials for SLS technology are some examples of our desire to always be at the forefront of innovations in order to confirm ourselves as AM Production Factory.