Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective Laser Sintering uses thermoplastic materials to manufacture prototypes with good mechanical and functional properties, which are therefore sometimes used as final parts. It uses a high-power laser to melt plastic powder particles layer by layer. The possibility of using composite materials with fiber (glass and carbon) and metals allows its range of applications to be expanded. This technology does not require a support structure and allows one part to be fabricated on top of the other.

Traditionally polyamide (PA) is used as a material, but new emerging technologies available at CIM UPC (Ricoh AM S5500P) allow the use of more common plastics such as polypropylene (PP).

Advantages

  • Very good mechanical behavior.
  • Resistance to humidity and temperatures up to 80ºC.
  • Resistance to impact and aggressive liquids such as hydrocarbons, glycol, hot water.
  • Cheaper cost than stereolithography.
  • Absence of construction and post-treatment supports.
  • No geometric limitations.

Applications

  • Product assembly validation: This technology is ideal for clipping and for validating mechanisms and parts that have to be coupled together.
  • Parts with complex geometries: As no support structure is required during manufacturing, sintering is capable of manufacturing any geometry, no matter how difficult it may seem.
  • Short series or final part: Fiber-filled or metallic materials allow the production of short series or the use of prototypes as final parts.
  • Parts in contact with aggressive liquids: such as hydrocarbons, glycol and hot water.
  • Large scale prototypes: By means of a welding post-process there is no dimensional limitation for the fabrication of prototypes.

Available equipment

DTM Vanguard HS

RICOH AM S5500P

This 3D systems equipment is similar to DTM’s fundamental Sinterstation machines, as both use DTM’s selective laser sintering, or SLS, process. The Vanguard machines, however, are designed to produce production-quality parts faster and more accurately, i.e., with finer details and smoother, more perfect surface finishes.

In addition, tolerance and dimensional data from these machines showed a substantial 20 percent improvement over the Sinterstation 2500, making it a faster, more accurate machine that offers greater manufacturing flexibility.

Features

  • Laser power: 25-100 W.
  • Max. scanning speed: 10 mm/s
  • Maximum workpiece dimensions: 370 x 320 x 445 mm
  • Minimum layer height: less than 0.1 mm

The RICOH AM S5500P is the future of additive manufacturing. With its generous build volume, the AM S5500P makes it possible to produce many components at once, ensuring fast, flexible and cost-effective production. It uses Powder Bed Fusion (or SLS technology) to melt a wide variety of polymers and produce parts. Our technology utilizes heat and a smart housing combined with a laser to manufacture end-use components, and can be used in industries such as aerospace, automotive and medical. Using advanced thermal control parameters, you benefit from highly accurate manufacturing capabilities.

Features

  • Large construction volume.
  • Advanced temperature control.
  • Dual powder distribution.
  • High reliability.
  • Wide selection of materials: you can select materials from Ricoh’s approved range, including Polypropylene (PP), PA6GB, PA11, PA12, PA12GB.
  • Effective volume: 550 x 550 x 500 mm