Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

SLS 3D Printing – Layer-by-layer Additive Manufacturing

We provide advanced Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing services, all conducted at our Melbourne-based headquarters. As a truly local 3D printing service provider, we take pride in our advanced capabilities, featuring two state-of-the-art printers and offering a selection of six different materials. With our efficient process, parts can be ready in as little as two days, ensuring rapid and reliable service for your prototyping and production needs.

What is Selective Laser Sintering?

SLS is an advanced 3D Printing technology that uses a high-powered laser to fuse powdered thermoplastic polymers layer by layer. The laser selectively sinters the powder particles, binding them to create solid structures without the need for support materials. SLS stands out for its ability to nest thousands of parts within the machine’s build volume, maximising efficiency and throughput. This capability makes it suitable for rapid prototyping and manufacturing runs.

Manufacturing with SLS 3D printing produces parts that closely resemble the final product in look, feel, and performance. The parts feature a uniform matte finish with minimal visible layer lines and exhibit excellent mechanical properties, including abrasion and impact resistance. This makes SLS an excellent alternative to injection moulding for low to mid-sized production runs and functional prototyping.

Steel roller levelling out white powder

Why Use Selective Laser Sintering?

SLS excels at creating parts with high geometric complexity, including intricate internal features and shapes that are difficult to achieve with traditional manufacturing methods. This makes it ideal for producing lightweight structures, custom medical implants, and other detailed designs. SLS’s batch production capability allows for the simultaneous production of multiple parts, making it perfect for small-scale manufacturing and rapid prototyping, while also being scalable for larger production volumes.

SLS-produced parts closely replicate the mechanical properties of final products, making them ideal for functional prototyping. This allows designers and engineers to evaluate the form, fit, and function of a part before mass production. The material properties of SLS parts, such as mechanical strength, durability, and heat resistance, are outstanding. Additionally, SLS parts exhibit excellent isotropic properties, ensuring consistent material characteristics in all directions.

Benefits of SLS Printing

  1. High Geometric Complexity: SLS printing can create parts with intricate internal features and complex geometries that are difficult to achieve with traditional manufacturing methods. This capability makes it ideal for producing lightweight structures and custom medical implants.
  2. Excellent Mechanical Properties: Parts produced through SLS exhibit exceptional mechanical strength, durability, and heat resistance. These properties ensure that the parts perform well in demanding applications, making SLS a reliable choice for functional prototyping and end-use products.
  3. No Need for Support Structures: SLS printing encases each part in powder during the build process, eliminating the need for additional support structures. This reduces post-processing time and cost, allowing for quicker and more efficient production.
  4. Efficient Batch Production: The ability to nest multiple parts within the machine’s build volume maximises throughput and efficiency. This makes SLS suitable for both small-scale manufacturing and scalable to larger production volumes without compromising quality.
  5. Material Versatility: SLS can use a variety of materials, including nylon 11, nylon 12, and composites reinforced with carbon fiber or glass. This versatility allows for the production of parts that meet specific performance requirements, such as high tensile strength and impact resistance.

Materials Available.


DuraForm® PA Plastic

Durable polyamide (nylon) material for real-world physical testing and functional use.

3D Systems DuraForm PA Plastic for SLS is a durable thermoplastic with balanced mechanical properties and fine-feature surface resolution.

Duraform PA Plastic is ideal for real world functional testing and low to mid-volume production runs. Capable of meeting UPS Class VI.

Applications

  • Complex, thin-wall ductwork
  • Functional prototypes that approach end-use performance properties
  • Appropriate for low- to mid-volume rapid manufacturing
  • Medical applications requiring USP Class-VI compliance, or biocompatibility
    • Motorsports
    • Aerospace
  • Housing and enclosures
  • Impellers and connectors
  • Consumer sporting goods
  • Vehicle dashboards and grilles
  • Snap-fit designs
  • Parts requiring machining or joining with adhesives

Benefits

  • Balanced mechanical properties
  • Build prototypes that withstand functional testing
  • Produce durable end-use parts without tooling
  • Machinable and paintable for demonstration parts

Features

  • Compliant with USP Class-VI testing
  • Compatible with autoclave sterilisation
  • Good chemical resistance and low moisture absorption
White and black shoe orthotics 3d printed
Formero Orthotics Black Set
Stack of white pipes and measuring device
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Technical Specs

Tensile Strength: 43 MPa
Elongation at Break: 14%
Flexural Strength: 48 MPa
Impact Strength: 32 J/m (notched Izod)
Colour: White
Build Size: 500x500x475 mm
Layer Thickness: 0.1 mm

For more technical data download the material data sheet.

Download: DuraForm® PA Plastic Datasheet

DuraForm® EX Plastic

Manufacture tough, impact-resistant plastic prototypes or end-use parts requiring moulded-part performance and capable of withstanding harsh environments.

The DuraForm EX SLS material is an HDPE like Nylon blend with fantastic flexural strength making it one of the best rigid materials available today for creating functional snaps and living hinges. DuraForm EX is also, a good general prototyping material for fit form and functional applications.

Applications

  • Complex, thin-walled ductwork
    • Motorsports
    • Aerospace
    • Unmanned air vehicles (UAV)
  • Housings and enclosures
  • Impellers
  • Connectors
  • Consumer sporting goods
  • Vehicle dashboards and grilles
  • Bumpers
  • Snap-fit designs
  • Living hinges

Benefits

  • Parts have the toughness of injection moulded ABS and polypropylene
  • Functional prototypes can be tested in “real life” environments
  • Complex end-use parts can be economically manufactured in low and medium volumes

Features

  • Outstanding toughness
  • Excellent impact resistance
  • Repeatable mechanical properties

Technical Specs

Tensile Strength: 37 MPa
Elongation at Break: 47%
Flexural Strength: 42 MPa
Impact Strength: 74 J/m (notched Izod)
Colour: White or Black
Build Size: 381x330x457 mm
Layer Thickness: 0.1 mm

For more technical data download the material data sheet.

Download: DuraForm® EX Plastic Datasheet

DuraForm® GF Plastic

Accurate and repeatable parts that excels in load bearing applications at higher temperatures.

DuraForm GF is a glass-filled engineering plastic with high stiffness for durable prototypes and low to mid-volume production parts that require elevated stiffness and heat resistance.

Applications

  • Housings and enclosures
  • Consumer sporting goods
  • Appropriate for low- to mid-volume rapid manufacturing
  • Complex production and prototype plastic parts
  • Form, fit or functional prototypes
  • Parts requiring stiffness
  • Thermally stressed parts

Benefits

  • Excels in load bearing applications at higher temperatures
  • Prototypes and end-use parts without tooling
  • Accurate and repeatable parts
  • Machinable and paintable for demonstration parts
  • Improved isotropic shrinkage due to glass filler

Features

  • Excellent mechanical stiffness
  • Elevated temperature resistance
  • Dimensionally stable

Technical Specs

Tensile Strength: 27 MPa
Elongation at Break: 1.4%
Flexural Strength: 37 MPa
Impact Strength: 41 J/m (notched Izod)
Colour: White
Build Size: 381x330x457 mm
Layer Thickness: 0.1 mm

For more technical data download the material data sheet.

Download: DuraForm® GF Plastic Datasheet

DuraForm® HST Composite

A fibre-reinforced material with an ideal mix of stiffness, strength and high temperature resistance.

DuraForm HST Composite is a fibre-reinforced engineering plastic with excellent stiffness and high temperature resistance, non-conductive and RF transparent. Ideal for testing and use in rugged environments.

Applications

  • Functional prototypes and end-use parts that require high stiffness and/or elevated thermal resistance
  • Typical Applications include:
    • UAV structural components
    • Housings and enclosures
    • Impellers
    • Connectors
    • Consumer sporting goods

Benefits

  • Functional prototypes can be tested in “real life” environments
  • Complex end-use parts can be economically manufactured in low-to-medium volumes
  • Excels in load-bearing applications at higher temperatures

Features

  • High specific stiffness
  • Elevated temperature resistance
  • Anisotropic mechanical properties just like fibre-filled, injection moulded materials
  • Non-conductive and RF transparent
Formero Plinth Cantilever Arm HST Dyed Black

Technical Specs

Tensile Strength: 48-51 MPa
Elongation at Break: 4.5%
Flexural Strength: 83-89 MPa
Impact Strength: 37.4 J/m (notched Izod)
Colour: White
Build Size: 381x330x457 mm
Layer Thickness: 0.1 mm

For more technical data download the material data sheet.

Download: DuraForm® HST Composite Datasheet

DuraForm® PAx Natural

High impact, high elongation, high recyclability SLS material with properties similar to injection moulded nylon plastic for tough, lightweight, production-grade parts.

DuraForm PAx Natural is a nylon copolymer that offers properties similar to injection moulded plastic and features high impact resistance with high elongation at break in any direction, including Z. Engineered for easy processing and high recyclability, DuraForm PAx Natural is ideal for functional prototypes and end-use parts with good mechanical properties and long-term stability.

Applications

  • General purpose prototypes
  • Orthotics
  • Tooling handles and grips for use in tough, rugged environments
  • Living hinges
  • Liquid reservoirs per data sheet specifications
  • Enclosures requiring high impact and high toughness

Benefits

  • Functional prototypes can be tested in “real life” environments
  • Complex end-use parts can be economically manufactured in low-to-medium volumes

Features

  • Excellent long-term stability; 5+ years indoor for mechanical properties and colour
  • Vapor-polished parts have excellent translucency and smooth finish

Technical Specs

Tensile Strength: 40 MPa
Elongation at Break: 282%
Flexural Strength: 37 MPa
Impact Strength: 41 J/m (notched Izod)
Colour: White
Build Size: 381x330x457 mm
Layer Thickness: 0.1 mm

For more technical data download the material data sheet.

Download: DuraForm® PAx Datasheet

PA 2210 FR

This white polyamide 12 powder is equipped with a halogen-free chemical flame retardant. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has issued a Blue Card (equivalent to the well-known Yellow Card) specifically dedicated to 3D printing materials to PA 2210 FR: at wall thicknesses above 3 mm, it meets the required fire protection class UL 94 / V-0, primarily relevant for the production of electric and electronic components and applications in the aerospace and automotive sectors.

Applications

  • Aerospace
  • Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Lighting fixtures

Benefits

  • Maintains high mechanical properties
  • Safe to use in high risk applications

Features

  • Contains a chemical flame retardant. In case of fire a carbonating coasting arises at the surface of the part, isolating the plastic below.
  • Free of halogens

Technical Specs

Tensile Strength: 45 ±3 MPa
Elongation at Break: 5.0 ±1 %
Flexural Strength: 45 ±2 MPa
Colour: White
Build Size: 381x330x457 mm
Layer Thickness: 0.15 mm

For more technical data download the material data sheet.

Download: PA 2210 FR Datasheet

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Selective Laser Sintering offers excellent material properties, including high mechanical strength and heat resistance. It’s well-suited for producing functional prototypes, end-use parts, and complex geometries without the need for support structures.

Selective Laser Sintering supports a wide range of materials, such as Nylon 11, Nylon 12, TPE, Copolymers and other blended Nylons (Glass, Carbon Fibre, Aluminium). The material choice depends on the application’s mechanical, thermal, and aesthetic requirements.

Yes, Selective Laser Sintering is known for its ability to produce intricate and complex designs that might be challenging with other manufacturing methods. Its layer-by-layer approach allows for the creation of detailed and precise geometries.

Selective Laser Sintering finds applications in industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical devices, prosthetics & orthotics, consumer goods, and more. It’s particularly valuable for creating functional prototypes and end-use parts with demanding performance requirements.

The cost of a Selective Laser Sintering project depends on factors like part size, complexity, chosen material, and quantity. Additionally, post-processing requirements and finishing options can also impact the overall cost.

One of the unique benefits of Selective Laser Sintering is that it eliminates the need for support structures during the printing process. This leads to reduced material wastage, simplified post-processing, and the ability to create intricate designs that might be impractical with traditional manufacturing methods. The elimination of supports also helps reduce the overall cost as build supports increase the amount of material required.

Yes, as with any 3D Printing solution, the maximum size of printed parts will vary depending on choice of material and corresponding printer. Formero’s largest SLS printer can accommodate part geometries up to 500 x 500 x 475 mm in one piece. Larger parts can always be printed in sections and joined afterwards.

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