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Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), SLS Prototype

 

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The use of selective laser sintering prototyping (commonly called SLS prototyping or 3D SLS prototyping) is ideal for product prototypes that require exceptional strength, or must closely approximate the properties of thermoplastics.

ProtoCAM is a premier selective laser sintering bureau, specializing in the creation of SLS prototypes through the use nylon, metals and elastomers. Our advanced selective laser sintering and SLS equipment allows for the rapid product prototype creation, in complex shapes and forms.

Why selective laser sintering (SLS) prototypes?

SLS LaserForm A6 gear In selective laser sintering (SLS), three-dimensional parts are created by fusing (“sintering”) powdered thermoplastic materials with the heat from an infrared laser beam. Thin powder layers are repeatedly laser sintered, creating the desired 3D piece based on a 3D CAD model. Selective laser sintering is an additive manufacturing sequence process, as parts gradually increase in size until they reach prescribed dimensions.

SLS or SLA?

There are several key differences between prototypes created using selective laser sintering (SLS) and prototypes created with stereolithography (SLA). These include:

  • Prototype strength: SLS prototypes are generally stronger and more durable than SLA prototypes.
  • Material properties: Selective laser sintering allows product prototypes to be created with material properties similar to those of injection molded prototypes.
  • Surface finish: SLS prototypes have a powdery finish, unlike stereolithography/SLA prototypes, which are smoother.
  • Machining properties: It is easier to machine prototypes created using selective laser sintering than those created using stereolithography or SLA.
  • Metal product prototypes: ProtoCAM has the ability to use selective laser sintering to create metal prototype parts. This is accomplished by using metallic powder in the laser sintering process.
  • Material choice: Selective laser sintering/SLS allows for product prototypes in many different thermoplastic or metal materials. With two decades of experience in the rapid prototyping industry, ProtoCAM specializes in helping customers select the best material for their prototype.
  • Post-completion processing: There is typically very little (if any) processing required after the selective laser sintering process is completed.
 

ProtoCAM offers clients many choices for selective laser sintering/SLS prototypes. Several popular SLS material choices include:

DuraForm

Best for functional plastic parts. Download datasheet (PDF)

DuraForm GF

Best for glass-filled functional plastic parts. Download datasheet (PDF)

Somos 201

Best for durable elastomer parts. Download datasheet (PDF)

LaserForm A6

Best for metal prototypes and tooling. Download datasheet (PDF)

CastForm PS

Best for casting patterns. Download datasheet (PDF)

ProtoCAM creates selective laser sintering prototypes and SLS prototypes using a selection of industry-leading equipment, including:

Sinterstation HiQ

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Sinterstation Pro

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ProtoCAM’s selective laser sintering and SLS technical specifications are as follows. You can always contact us for more information.

Build envelope

  • Sinterstation HiQ: 14″ x 12″ x 17″
  • Sinterstation Pro: 22″ x 22″ x 30″

Layer thickness

0.004″ or 0.006″

Typical tolerances

±0.007″ (varies based on selective laser sintering or SLS material selection)

Click here to request a quote for your selective laser sintering prototype or SLS prototype project!