Taking after its name, SLS (Selective Laster Sintering) uses a laser which selectively sinters polymer powder particles. This process (sintering) is used in building parts layer-by-layer by fusing powder particles together.
When building detailed prototypes or producing end-use parts in low-volume production, SLS is a great choice as it produces functional plastic parts with isotropic mechanical charateristics.
Minimum Lead Time
When to use SLS?
When it comes to the production of functional plastic parts with good mechanical qualities, SLS is frequently used for both its small-batch production and prototyping.
Pros of SLS
There are several benefits of using SLS as your 3D printing technology. First, it doesn't require any material to support it. Another is that SLS printed products have superb mechanical properties. Also, it can be more efficient than FDM. Lastly, it can also be used in the production of complex geometries.
Cons of SLS
The major drawbacks of SLS is that it has longer lead times and is more expensive than FDM ( Fused Deposition Modeling). Another disadvantage is that there is always a limited supply for this material. And lastly, surface finish of the part or product is rough, and there is no option of transparent or colorless material for SLS.
The people behind SLS or selective laser sintering were Dr. Carl Deckard and Dr. Joe Beaman. Together, they developed SLS in mid-1980s. SLS is not a standalone method in 3D printing just like other 3D printing techonologies. It uses a high-powered laser or UV laser to "sinter" or make a powdered plastic material solid; this is its additive manufacturing method. Since then, the same thing has been developed and modified to work with other materials such as ceramics, glass, and metals.
PBF or powder bed fusion is a collection of additive manufacturing processes. It doesn't only consist of SLS but also DMLS (Direct metal Laser Sintering) and SLM (Selective Laser Melting).