Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
SLS produces plastic parts using a laser to sinter thin layers of powdered material one layer at a time. The coater spreads an initial layer of powder over the build platform, then the cross-section of the part is scanned, sintered, and solidified by the laser. Simultaneously, the build platform drops down one-layer thickness (typically 100 or 120µm), then a new layer of powder is applied. The process repeats over and over until all the layers are formed. Unlike other additive technologies, SLS does not require support structures.
Additive manufacturing with selective laser sintering (SLS) offers excellent quality and throughput. The technology lends itself to complex design concepts not possible with injection molding. SLS Additive Manufacturing has resolved the issues of long lead time and upfront investment required for injection molding tooling. Calculating the cost of production and quality of the parts, speed-to-market, industrial SLS stands as a viable value-adding manufacturing process.
SLS is typically used for functional parts because of their good mechanical properties and high chemical resistance. The default surface properties of an SLS part are somewhat rough (≈35µm roughness value). The color of the base powder is typically white. The SLS parts can be dyed, painted, sealed, coated, and over-molded. The surface can also be mechanically or chemically treated to improve the roughness and reduce the porosity. SLS parts are well suited for machining to enhance the accuracy and surface finish. The result resembles CNC parts, yet complex with a lead time of additive manufacturing.
BENEFITS AND FEATURES
- Parts possess high strength and stiffness, in addition to good chemical resistance
- Available Biocompatible materials according to EN ISO 10993-1 and USP/level VI/121 °C
- Complex parts with interior components, channels, can be printed without trapping the material inside
- The fastest additive manufacturing process for printing functional, durable, prototypes or end-user parts
- The vast variety of materials and characteristics of Strength, Durability, and Functionality
- Excellent mechanical properties. The material is often used to substitute typical injection molding.
INJECTION MOLDING EOAT FOR LARGE AUTOMOTIVE PARTS
- Quick connect for fast tool changing
- No adjustments required
- lightweight and organic structure
- Engineered for maximum stiffness with minimum material
- Internal vacuum channels for vacuum cups
- lightweight custom grippers
For the molding EOATs, grippers usually pick up the runner and sprue. The traditional tool uses a heavy and expensive mechanical gripper. In this case, the lightweight body and gripper were 3D printed and the lightweight cylinder was integrated into the tool.
More than one gripper was connected to the same actuator.
QUICK CONNECT FOR FAST CHANGEOVER
Our proprietary quick connect system speeds up the changeover of EOATs, improving the efficiency of the production line.
CARTON EXTRACTING TOOL FOR A PACKAGING EQUIPMENT OEM
THE ORIGINAL METAL TOOL WAS CONVERTED TO NYLON 12 USING OUR DESIGN AND ENGINEERING PROCESS.
- Added more optional air channels without impacting the cost
- No minimum quantity or set up fee
- 3 days delivery
- The final price was equivalent to the machined part
All 3D printed parts are designed using DAFM principles. The use of Topology Optimization provides the optimum material layout according to design space and loading case in which design variables are defined as a fictitious density for each element, and these values are varied from 0 to 1 to optimize the material distribution. The result is an organic structure representing the minimum material required to support the load.
All the air channels can be integrated without worrying about their machinability.
A combination of plastic taping and inserts was used in this application.
A LARGE VACUUM MANIFOLD DESIGNED TO BE PRINTED IN SECTIONS
A LIGHTER TOOL OF 1.5KG. TO CARRY A 3KG. LOAD IS IN CURRENTLY BEING DESIGNED.
- Incredibly lightweight vacuum manifold
- Conventional metal manifolds’ weight exceeds 20kg
- Anubis 3D manufactured manifold weighs only 2.3 KG
- Designed to withstand the impact force of a robot crash
THE ANUBIS 3D ADVANTAGE
The design freedom offered by SLS 3D printing is currently unparalleled. Our ability to use more complex surfaces and geometric designs provides a greater number of options for maximum strength with minimum mass.
WEDGELOCK FOR QUICK ADJUSTMENTS ON 2 AXIS
The Wedge-lock is a manual adjustment guide that can be used for conveyor rails or Sensor/ Reflector adjustment. It comes in a single axis or 2 axis adjustment. Simply squeeze the arms to slide to position and release. The Wedge-lock can be locked in an open position for simultaneous Wedge-lock adjustment and can be mounted on round or square bars.
Anubis 3D manufacturing process offers the ease of customization of the wedge-lock design to mate with your choice of sensor.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is SLS 3D printing?
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a professional additive manufacturing technology for plastics 3D printing. With a SLS 3D printer, you can create plastic parts based on CAD Data (Computer Aided Design). Anubis 3D is Canada’s leading SLS additive manufacturer. Contact us today!
How does SLS 3D printing work?
To create a 3D printed item, the SLS 3D printer uses a laser as its energy source to selectively melt powdered plastic material. This technology is a component of Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), one of the most cutting-edge and dependable additive manufacturing methods.
The laser precisely melts the plastic material at the predefined areas in the powder bed of the additive manufacturing system using 3D data from a CAD model. The process works as follows:
- The build area and powder bin are heated to a temperature just below the polymer’s melting point.
- A thin layer of powder is spread across the build platform by a re-coating blade.
- The polymer powder particles are then selectively sintered, or fused together, using a CO2 laser as it scans the outline of the subsequent layer.
- The build platform descends once each layer is finished, and the blade re coats the surface once more. The procedure is repeated until the entire section is finished.
- After printing is done, the pieces are enveloped in the unsintered powder. After the powder bin cools, the parts can be cleaned with compressed air, unpacked, and prepared for usage or additional post-processing.
Do you have a project that could be a good fit for SLS 3D printing? talk to our experts about it today!
Can you use SLS 3D printing for rapid prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is the fast fabrication of a physical part, model or assembly using 3D computer aided design (CAD). The creation is usually completed using additive manufacturing.
SLS offers a very high degree of design freedom and high accuracy, making it an excellent option for the rapid prototyping of functional polymers. Additionally, it creates components with consistent mechanical qualities, unlike FDM or SLA 3D printing procedures.
At Anubis 3D, SLS 3D printing is used to generate parts that are extremely close to end-use quality which makes it a good fit for utilization throughout the production process, from concept to trial models. Click here to learn about our ordering process.
Can you use SLS 3D printing for low volume production?
Low-volume production typically refers to an item that has been produced in small quantities, with reduced engineering or tooling investment. Low-volume production can be less than 100 units, although this number can vary between organisations.
SLS 3D printing is an excellent substitute for injection moulding for low volume production because of its adaptability. At Anubis 3D, SLS is used to produce parts with intricate shapes and geometries, a wide range of finishes, and quick turnaround times. Contact us today!
What materials are used for SLS 3D printing?
The most popular SLS material is Polyamide 12 (PA 12), commonly referred to as Nylon 12. Although they are also available, there are less common engineering polymers like PA 11 and PEEK.
To enhance the mechanical and thermal performance of the manufactured SLS part, polyamide powder can be mixed with a variety of additives like carbon, glass, or aluminium. Find out about Anubis 3D SLS material options here.
What are SLS post process options?
The parts created by SLS 3D printing have a powdery, grainy surface texture that can be easily stained. There are numerous post-processing techniques, like polishing, dyeing, spray painting, and lacquering, that can be used to raise the aesthetic quality of SLS produced items to an extremely high level. Applying a metal plating or waterproof coating can also improve their functionality.
Find out about Anubis 3D post process options here.