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SLS 3D Printing Service
Our SLS 3d printers use Nylon PA12 for your SLS print.
Nylon SLS prints show almost know layer lines, are strong in every axis and have an almost injection moulded look, all be it with a very fine texture. This fine surface texture can be removed with our free vibro polishing service.
SLS stands for, Selective laser sintering and works by fusing Nylon powder together. The 3D printer lays down a thin layer of powder, the laser almost draws your part out, another layer is added, and the process starts again.
If you fancy getting really technical, check more on SLS prints.
SLS printing is perfect for prototypes or batch production runs.
SLS bridges the cap for low volume manufacturing compared to more traditional methods. Helping to reduce costs and increase lead times.
If you have more questions, please contact us.
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3D Printing FAQ's
SLS 3D printing is a fantastic technology. It can print moving parts in one go, and there is no support structures needed. The parts are strong because of the way they are printed and the process they go through.
Let us answer some of the questions people have when it comes to 3D printing. If we don’t cover all your questions, you might have, please check out our full FAQ’s page for more questions and answers.
Not ready for 3D printing yet? Checkout our other services
Selective laser sintering or SLS uses lasers to fuse PA12 nylon powder together, it’s a bit like painting with lasers. We take your model, slice it with our software and build it up layer by layer.
You can save money with our 3D printing service by nesting your parts. What is nesting?
Lets say you have a bowl and you printed that on it’s own, that’s not an issue, but what about all the space inside the bowl? Why not stack the 2 bowls together with a 1.5 mm gap or place another model that fits inside the bowl? That is nesting. Are prices are worked out by the square cm, not by the shape of the model.
We recommend a tolerance of around 0.2 mm for moving parts, any closer and you run the risk of the parts fusing together.
2 mm is around the right size.
1 mm wall thickness is good, but we can go down to 0.5 mm. The thinner your parts are designed, the greater the risk of your parts not printing.
Our current maximum print size is 300 mm.
In the Z axis it is + or – 0.075mm, in XY axis it is + or – 0.1 mm. These figures can change depending on the complexity of the model.
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How SLS 3D Printing Works
We use SLS for our 3D printing services, but what is SLS?
SLS stands for Selective laser sintering, what is that? it basically uses high powered lasers to fuse and melt nylon particles together to create incredibly strong parts, with little to no layer lines visible.
In simple terms, the printing process works by spreading a very thin layer of nylon powder across a platform in the heated chamber, then using the laser it fires the pattern of the print onto powder and fuses it all together. The platform then drops and completes the whole process again until the part is complete.
SLS allows you to nest your parts and utilise the entire volume of the print area.
Is 3D Printing Expensive?
It all depends on what you need? SLS printing is generally more expensive than say FDM, but FDM can not produce the same quantity in one go as SLS.
SLS can use nesting, meaning the whole square printing area can be used. With FDM printing, you can only use the flat area of the bed. SLS requires no support material, it uses the surrounding powder as it supports. Any unused powder can be recycled and used again.
SLS produces a more injection moulded finish and truly functional parts. If you need fast batch production, ready to use parts then SLS is the only solution. Other than cost injection moulding
3d Printing vs Injection Moulding
First off, both produce fantastic finishes for parts and prototypes. But they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
3D printing is generally better for very complex parts. 3D printing allows for instant changes to your design, this means you don’t need to reinvest in new tooling. 3D printing is perfect for bridging the gap between millions of parts or just needing 1000’s and allows you to create a functional one-off prototype.
Injection moulding is great for high volume production runs and can be the most cost-effective solution for needs. It also leaves a perfect finish, our 3D printing services can get close with Vibro polishing but it will never quite match injection moulding. Injection moulding does come with much higher startup costs, but if you’re making millions of parts, this is the right choice.