Selective Laser Sintering Process

Selective laser sintering fabricates complex plastic parts and assemblies in a single process, one layer at a time.

Step 1

The first step in the process is to upload the CAD (computer-aided design) model of the part to the selective laser sintering machine. The machine uses the CAD model to slice the design into thousands of horizontal layers.

Step 2

Fine plastic powder is then rolled across a platform in a heated chamber. Per the CAD model, selected parts of the layer are melted by a CO2 laser. The platform lowers down as each layer is selectively melted on top of the last.

Step 3

Once all the layers have been processed, the result is one or more fully dense, solid parts, encased in a block of powder. Test coupons may also be built alongside each part to nondestructively validate the part’s mechanical or chemical integrity.

Step 4

The next step is to break each part out of the powder and clean it. Once the test coupons are validated, the part is now ready to be post-machined, painted or assembled with hardware.

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