Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a wide term for a production process in which an object is produced "by adding material layer upon layer (and not subtracting material like in case of conventional machining)". Up till now, there are seven different types of AM processes, amongst which the most popular are: FDM, SLA, and SLS.
Motivation of adjusting the printing parametersAs mentioned in the previous articles, there is a wide variety of polymer powders suitable for the SLS technology. You may ask, how come that the materials have such different properties? Polyamide (PA) is strong and resistant while thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is elastic and rubber-like. To answer those questions you need to zoom in into the molecular structure of the polymers.
In the previous article a brief overview on Selective Laser Sintering technique was presented and placed among other 3DP approaches. Now the time has come to dig down into the details of the SLS and unveil its phenomena. You can be confused on how exactly the laser sinters the powder, why we utilise elevated temperature or even why we can use one powdered materials and others not. This article will bring answers to those questions. We will also show the perspectives for research in terms of the SLS process and used powders.
Technologies of additive manufacturing known as 3D printing (3DP) are considered to be the future of rapid prototyping, small and even big production lines for industry. There are several technologies distinguished by the phenomena they are based on and materials they are utilising. Reading this article you will learn how SLS 3D printing works and what are the differences between the main 3D printing technologies.