Selective Laser Sintering and Melting (SLS and SLM)

What is Selective Laser Sintering?

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a form of powder bed fusion which typically uses a laser to sinter layers of polymer powder together. After a layer is sintered together, the powder bed moves down to allow a new layer of powder to be spread over the top. The process continues sintering new layers to the previous layer until the part is completed.

SLS 3D Printed Component
SLS 3D Printed Component

A large flat 3D Printed part produced using selective laser sintering (SLS).

SLS Flat Surface Finish
SLS Flat Surface Finish

The surface of SLS parts appears matte and rough.

3D Printed Selective Laser Sintered Part
3D Printed Selective Laser Sintered Part

SLS component showing small detail and consistency in even small parts.

SLS 3D Printed Component
SLS 3D Printed Component

A large flat 3D Printed part produced using selective laser sintering (SLS).

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What is Selective Laser Melting?

Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is another process that comes under powder bed fusion. The process is remarkably similar to SLS. Instead of using a polymer the powder utilized is made of metal. The laser is used to melt the metal powder in each layer to form a complete part.

Here at Afaridan Plastics, we only provide Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).

When to use Selective Laser Sintering

Selective Laser Sintering can achieve faster printing rates than that of SLA or FDM. SLS should be considered when a specific polymer material is selected with a part of significantly complex geometry.

Materials

Selective Lazer Sintering is mainly focused on polymers such as thermoplastics.