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