Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a laser as the power source to sinter powdered material (typically nylon or polyamide), aiming the laser automatically at points in space defined by a 3D model, binding the material together to create a solid structure. It is similar to selective laser melting; the two are instantiations of the same concept but differ in technical details.

How SLS Selective Laser Sintering 3D Printing Works

SLS operation principle is powder sintering with the help of infrared laser in elevated temperature, which helps the grains of the powder consolidate before being bound with the laser beam. In the conventional SLS printer, there is a so-called “bed” on which the roller spreads a thin layer of powder followed by sintering according to the layers sliced from a 3D model file (e.g., a .stl file (derived from CAD-like designing software).

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Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Why Use SLS 3D Printing Service?

SLS Applications
SLS 3D Printing Service uses production-grade nylon materials, resulting in durable, functional parts that last. SLS printed parts rival other parts produced using traditional manufacturing methods. The robustness of SLS makes this technology great for:
Complex and durable production parts
Production and prototype parts that need to withstand high-heat environments or chemical exposure Impact-resistant parts
Parts with snap-fit/living hinges
Automotive design
Aerospace parts and ducting, flame-retardant parts
Low-volume production and mass customization solutions
Medical devices
Jigs, fixtures, and tools
Investment casting patterns
Elastomeric and urethane parts, such as gaskets, seals, and hoses

Why Make your 3D Priting at Unionfab?

  • Endless Options Choose from millions of possible combinations of materials, finishes, tolerances, markings, and certifications for your order.
  • Easy to Use Get your parts delivered right to your door without the hassle of sourcing, project management, logistics, or shipping.
  • Vetted Network We are ISO 9001:2015 certified and AS9100D compliant. Only the top shops that apply to become Suppliers make it through our qualification process.

Design Guidelines: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Max Part Size
Layer Thickness / Resolution
Wall Thickness
Surface Finish Options
US Metric
PA12 GB 14 in. x 14 in. x 16 in. 350mm x 305mm x 400mm
PA12 14 in. x 14 in. x 16 in. 350mm x 305mm x 400mm
US Metric
Layer Thickness 0.004 in. 0.1016mm
US Metric
Minimum Wall Thickness 0.030 in. 0.762mm

SLS Tolerances
For well-designed parts, tolerances of ±0.010 in. (0.25mm) plus ±0.0015 in./in. (0.0015mm/mm) for each additional inch can typically be achieved. Note that tolerances may change depending on part geometry.

Standard  Bead blast to remove all powder, which leaves a consistent overall texture.
Custom Secondary options include a primer or dye color that can be applied as well as taps and inserts.

Compare our 3D Printing Services

Service Lead Times Materials Tolerances Max Part Size
SLA 1 – 3 days Resin / Somos +/- 0.003 in. 800 x 800 x 550 mm
SLS 2 – 5 days PA12/ PA12GB +/- 0.002 in. 350 x 350 x 400 mm
MJF 2 – 5 days PA12/ PA12GB +/- 0.002 in. 380 x 280 x 380 mm
FDM 2 – 5 days PLA / ABS  +/- 0.003 in. 500 x 500 x 400 mm
Poly Jet 2 – 5 days Resin +/- 0.003 in. 490 x 390 x 200 mm