ProtoCAM: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping.

Selective Laser Sintering

In selective laser sintering (commonly known as “SLS” or “LS”), 3D parts are created by fusing (“sintering”) powdered materials with an infrared laser beam. The result is strong, durable, and machinable parts with thermoplastic material properties similar to those of injection molded prototypes.

Our Selective Laser Sintering Work

About Selective Laser Sintering

The use of SLS 3D printing (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.

In SLS, three-dimensional parts are created by fusing (“sintering”) powdered thermoplastic materials such as nylon and elastomers 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 in Action


There are several key differences between parts created using SLS and parts created with stereolithography (SLA). These include:

Prototype strength

SLS parts and prototypes are generally stronger and more durable than SLA parts.

Material properties

SLS allows product prototypes to be created with material properties similar to those of injection molded prototypes.

Surface finish

SLS parts have a slightly grainy finish, unlike SLA prototypes, which are smoother.

Machining properties

It is easier to machine parts created using SLS than those created using SLA.

Material choice

SLS allows for product prototypes in many different thermoplastic materials.

Post-completion processing

There is typically very little (if any) processing required after the SLS process is completed.

Typical Selective Laser Sintering Use Cases

Machine prototypes Form/fit models Architectural models
Performance testing Design verification Click here to see available finishes