Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

As with all additive manufacturing processes the start of the SLS process requires a 3D CAD model. Virtually all 3D CAD model formats can be accepted by Aben.

The 3D CAD model is sliced into a series of 0.1 mm thick layers which are then transmitted to the additive manufacturing machine. Selective laser sintering utilises a laser to selectively melt a nylon 12 powder material into the shape required for each layer contained within the slice file. Each layer is built on top of the last until the physical model is complete. The model is then removed from the machine, cleaned, and can then undergo subsequent processes or simply be shipped to the customer.

Parts built by the SLS process requires no support structure, and therefore parts can be manufactured in a 3D array, making the process highly efficient and so suitable for low volume production applications.

Parts manufactured by the SLS process are not as accurate as those produced by SLA but are very tough, resilient, and do not undergo subsequent dimensional changes.

Finishing processes

Parts can be painted to a variety of finishes, even to a gloss finish and Aben offers a wide variety of colours and can obtain specific RAL numbers upon request. More simply parts can be dyed, which does not change the surface finish, but isn’t the effective and low cost alternative to painting.

Material choice

The SLS process uses not only nylon PA12, but also a glass filled variety, a carbon fibre filled variety and carbon black filled a variety, each which has its own particular properties and performances. For example, glass filled PA12 is particularly strong and stiff.

For more information on our selective laser sintering processes, please contact our sales staff.