One of the biggest advantages of SLS 3D printing is that the process does not require using supports. This gives you a wide array of options with elements and geometry. This also gives you plenty of freedom regarding parts orientation during the building process. Aside from this, Selective Laser Sintering allows us to develop parts from several kinds of powders. The most common are PA12 and PA11. Even though different producers use their own names, most powders used are still based on these two types.
In traditional manufacturing, and even in other 3D printing technologies like 3D printing in the automotive industry, delivering one-process parts that are originally multipart or multi-element is still difficult and costly. To be specific, it is almost impossible to gain a chain-like or netting-like structure using injection molding or CNC. But SLS technology makes it feasible.
No Geometry Limits
SLS provides vast freedom and almost no geometry limitation. When designing CAD models for SLS, no shapes or multi-elements are too complicated or impossible to make. You can design something exactly as you please. The same logic applies to move joints such as gears, bars, loops, and functional tools.
The only limitation SLS technology has is the wall thickness. It should not be lower than 0.5 mm and the dimension should be the same in all producers guidelines. On a different note, you may print objects with different wall thicknesses in specified areas of parts and elements.
What does it mean? Look at the image below: here we have one big element. But when we look closer, we can see that the external walls of this part are much thicker than the internal one. And all of that is easy to get in one process, depending on the CAD model and device settings.
More so, you can achieve several same shapes in one printing process with all of them having differences in the wall thickness. What makes it great? Well, it allows you to quickly check every design assumption but in different final part properties.
Fast And Variety
The volume of production in SLS only limits the building chamber space. Delivering in small quantities will make printing on SLS commercial 3D printers with big building chambers more costly as you will need more powder, which may also result in bigger losses. However, your SLS may not be able to proceed with the process when you will need to produce a low amount in a bigger size. This inspired us to design our SLS with a building chamber of changeable dimensions – so it can be smaller or bigger, depending on current production needs.
Whether you use smaller or bigger building volumes, you can depend on SLS technology. Through this process, you can produce various parts simultaneously, which could either be one device or tool, or all of them at once. This should produce one effect – a final and irreversible change in production steps and schedules. SLS parts are fully functional and can be used for prototypes and small series productions.