Laser Sintering (LS)—often called Selective Laser Sintering or SLS—creates tough and geometrically intricate components using a high-powered CO2 laser to fuse or sinter powdered thermoplastics. One key advantage of LS is that as a part is made, it remains encased in powder. This eliminates the need for support structures and allows for complex geometries. LS production parts can be strong, water and air-tight, heat resistant, and made out of exceptional materials like aluminum-filled and glass-filled Nylon 12.
BENEFITS OF Laser Sintering
Producing parts for production applications without tooling saves time and money. LS has proven to be an affordable means to build durable, stable production parts in low quantities. It is also effective for high volumes of components when the designs are too complex for traditional manufacturing to execute.
Using LS, engineers can incorporate multiple component designs into single structures. With the ability to produce complex features, undercuts, and internal features with ease, LS can consolidate what once was a multi-part assembly into one part. LS can eliminate the need for separate fasteners, mounting components, and adhesives, resulting in substantial weight reduction compared to conventional assemblies.
LS can provide sturdy, functional prototypes as little as 24 hours. Multi-component designs can be incorporated into single structures, allowing engineers to produce complex features and geometries in one print, and eliminating the need for assembly. Additionally, reduced secondary processing means quicker delivery to you.
Little to No Finishing Needs
One key advantage to LS is that each part is encased in powder as it is made. The surrounding powder reinforces the parts and eliminates the need for support structures that require removal after production. With ready-to-use prototypes off the printer, little to no finishing needs reduces costs and delivery time.
Consistency and Repeatability
To ensure consistent build quality, Objective 3D Manufacturing has implemented stringent, proprietary process controls and procedures for executing builds, maintaining equipment, and handling materials. We maintain strict parameters for material traceability by monitoring the mixing and testing of powder before builds, tracking the thermal process during the build, and conducting post-process tensile bar testing.
LS is excellent for functional prototyping or production parts in a variety of taxing environments.
Common applications include:
- Control Surfaces
- Brackets, Clips, Clamps
- Fuel Tanks
- Flight-Certified Parts
LASER SINTERING GALLERY
Laser Sintering: Frequently Asked Questions
What geometries are best suited for LS?
LS is ideal for components with extremely complex geometries, including parts with internal cavities. Parts that are produced with LS remain encased in powdered material, which is self-supporting thereby eliminating the need for additional supportive structures on or within the components.
What level of detail can be obtained with LS?
Laser Sintering can produce a layer thickness of 0.1mm and an X/Y resolution of 0.0762mm – 1.27mm. We recommend all LS parts have a minimum wall thickness of 1mm. See the LS design guidelines for more details.
What is the largest part size you can make with LS?
The build platform for our LS machine is 250mm x 200mm x 320mm. Parts that exceed those dimensions can be built in sections. The mechanical performance of bonded parts is no different than if the component had been created as a single piece.
LS Design Guidelines
For detailed engineering specifications and considerations, including the advantages and disadvantages of using LS for a variety of applications,
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