Selective Laser Sintering

SLS: Fast and Scalable

How Does Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Work?

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a powerful 3D printing technology that produces highly accurate and durable parts that are capable of being used directly in end-use, low-volume production, or for rapid prototyping.

An additive manufacturing layer technology, SLS involves the use of a high power laser (for example, a carbon dioxide laser) to fuse small particles of plastic powders into a mass that has a desired three-dimensional shape. The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3-D digital description of the part (for example from a CAD file or scan data) on the surface of a powder bed. After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed.


Selective Laser Sintering

SLS Featured Resources

SLS Applications

Concept Models

The speed and versatility of SLS lets product developers create physical snapshots of their designs through the iterative process.

Rapid Prototyping

SLS can be used to create fully-functional prototypes, complete with moving parts, as well as all-in-one assemblies.

Direct Digital Manufacturing

The high accuracy and consistency of SLS makes it an ideal way to build large quantities of discrete or customized parts.

SLS Advantages

Precision

We use the latest generation of SLS technologies to meet tolerances of +/- 0.005” or +/- 0.002” per inch, whichever is greater. Please see our Manufacturing Standards for more details.

Durability

Nylon is a durable material with great impact strength, medium flexibility, and high resistance to environmental factors.

Scalability

SLS can make a single part or component as easily as dozens of production pieces.

Complex Geometry

Geometries can be built more easily due to the 3D printing process, adding complexity without additional cost.

Rapid Turnaround

Parts can typically be shipped in 3-4 days, allowing for faster design iterations and speed to market.

Part Production

SLS is capable of producing end-use parts on-demand, increasing throughput.

SLS Materials

Plastics

  • Glass-Filled Nylon
  • Nylon

SLS Finishes

Standard

SLS parts are de-powdered with a sand blasting process, followed by detailed manual de-powdering for more complex geometries. These parts are left with a surface finish comparable to a sugar cube.

Media Tumbled

Parts go through the standard de-powdering process and are then media tumbled for several hours. These parts will have reduced grow lines and sharp edges may be softened by the tumbling process. The parts are left with an eggshell finish.

Additional Finishes

Xometry provides additional SLS finishing options, including but not limited to: color dyeing, sanding, painting and plating to meet your needs. For examples of our additional finishes, please refer to the SLS section of our Online Photo Gallery.

SLS Design Guide

SLS Design Guide

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing process that can efficiently produce durable nylon end-use parts and prototypes.

Learn how you can apply SLS to your next project. Download your free guide today.

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