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SLS & DMLS Technology

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Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a commonly used powder-based additive technology to create models, prototypes, and end-use parts in durable, engineering-grade thermoplastics. Consider SLS for applications that involve high-complexity and organic geometries, as well as parts requiring durability. SLS nests in the z direction which allows for short-run production and efficient builds.

The technology is also capable of producing parts with finer details than most processes that use high-strength plastics. The composition is one of the more isotropic available from additive manufacturing.

SLS
MATERIALS
Lead
Time
Optimal
Quantity
Maximum
Dimensions
Suggested Min
Wall Thickness
Finish
& Appearance
Advantages
& Considerations

    Nylon PA2200
    (White)
3+ Days Prototypes,
Low-Volume,
Short-Run Production
320mm x 320mm x 610mm 1 mm

  • Medium/High Resolution
  • High Detail & Complexity
  • Dye Available (Black, Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow, & Pink)

  • Nearly Isotropic
  • Parts Built Without Supports, Allowing for Complex Geometries
  • Durable Production Quality Thermoplastic

DMLS
MATERIALS
Lead Time Optimal
Quantity
Maximum
Dimensions
Suggested Min
Wall Thickness
Finish
& Appearance
Advantages
& Considerations

    Stainless Steel,
    Maraging Steel,
    Aluminum,
    Inconel,
    Cobalt Chrome,
    Titanium
7+ Days Prototypes, Low-Volume Production 228mm x 228mm x 285mm 0.5 mm

  • Heat Treatments Recommended to Achieve Properties Close To Traditional Processes
  • Can Be Machined, Spark-Eroded, Welded, Micro Shotpeened, Polished, & Coated If Required

  • Ideal Process For Complex Geometries Not Possible With Other Metal Manufacturing Methods
  • Consider Support Removal Process When Designing Part & Preparing Build

 

DOWNLOADS

SLS Material Datasheet A Comprehensive Look at SLS Material Options From FATHOM Download Pdf
DMLS Data Sheet A Comprehensive Look at DMLS Material Options From FATHOM Download Pdf

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How does it work? SLS uses a blade to spread a thin layer of powder over the build volume. A laser sinters the cross-section of the part, fusing the powder together. The z stage then drops one layer, and the process begins again until the build is finished. Parts are then excavated from the build powder-cake and bead blasted. The un-used powder in the build envelope acts as the support structures, so no support removal is necessary.

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PA2200 is a fine powder on the basis of Nylon 12. The thermoplastic is strong enough for functional prototyping and production parts, small to medium in size—ideal for complex assemblies, housings, enclosures, and watertight applications. Achieve smooth surfaces and fine details with this durable material—excellent chemical resistance to oils, greases, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and alkalies.


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How does it work? A recoating system lays a fine layer of powder onto the build volume. The powder is fused together with a high powered laser beam using the 2D cross section of the part geometry. The process is repeated layer by layer until the build is complete. Unlike polymer powder bed processes, DMLS requires support structures due to the high heat and thermal stresses occurring in the build chamber.

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The removal of support structures using CNC machining should be considered pre-build and during the design process. Fixturing geometries for CNC machining may be incorporated into the part design to aid with work-holding. DMLS parts are often heat treated to achieve optimal material properties.

Learn more about FATHOM's SLS & DMLS services—start a conversation today!