SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING

Laser sintering is a technique known as 3D printing or additive manufacturing that is frequently used in the field of rapid prototyping.

As with any 3D printing project at Axis, it is necessary to have a 3D printing file obtained using a CAD software to launch a prototype in powder sintering.

With this process of additive manufacturing: your prototypes are made on a bed of polyamide powder located in a manufacturing chamber mounted at high temperature, a roller comes to affix a thin layer of powder polymerized by a laser that allows to harden the material, several layers will be successively stacked and polymerized to make your prototype. Once all the layers are overlaid, the chamber goes down again in temperature, then we have to let the “cake” of manufacture go back down to ambient temperature to avoid any deformations.

Selective Laser Sintering : Our strong points

Axis is a specialist in the field of rapid prototyping, so we are very responsive when it comes to producing parts in powder sintering. As for stereolithography parts, we have the possibility to prepare your parts for painting or metallization but we can also do its finishing steps for you according to your specifications. Other finishes specific to laser sintering such as epoxy impregnation or polishing.

Selective Laser sintering: Applications

Prototypes manufactured in powder sintering have a risk of deformation because of the manufacturing temperature. In addition, the surface condition of sintered parts is often granular and porous due to the polymerization of this powdery material. This is why the paint finish is possible, but more complex and expensive than stereolithography parts because of this porosity.

Offered Material

PA 650: Type PA 12 polyamide, white. Combines resistance, durability and chemical resistance and produces prototype pieces which are robust and durable

PA 615 : Glass-filled polyamide. The addition of glass fibre to nylons significantly improves stress resistance, solidity, thermal distortion temperatures, abrasion resistance and dimensional stability.

PP (Polypropylene): This material has excellent plasticity, superior elongation, low moisture absorption and increased durability. It works perfectly for hinges and clips. It is resistant to most acids and bases and has a slight translucent appearance.

Our equipment

1 EOS P380 : 325 x 325 x 620 mm
2 HQ Sinterstation : 350 x 300 x 420 mm

Machine d efrittage pour le prototypage rapide

Laser or powder sintering: how does it work?

Axis uses Sintering: an ideal process for technical models! Powder sintering is a method of manufacturing prototypes by additive manufacturing, as is stereolithography, which produces prototypes using a 3D file or a digitized model. The principle of this technology is to polymerize the polyamide powder to solidify it in successive layers of 0.10 mm.

Sintering powder: Axis explains in a few words this technology

At Axis, to produce a piece of rapid prototyping in additive manufacturing, it is mandatory to have a 3D file (formats: .IGES, .STEP, .STL, .CatPart) because we do not have a design office. As for stereolithography, we treat and cut the file in thin slices of 0.10 mm to be readable by our machines.

Following this, the 3D file of the prototype is transmitted to the sintering machine which is composed of a pilot computer, two powder tanks on each side of a platform, it also has a lens and a laser . The manufacture of the prototype begins at the flower surface of the machine, that is to say with the platform positioned at the height of its capabilities.

A first layer of powder is deposited on the platform by a mechanical roller fed by the powder tanks. After that, the machine warms up to reach a certain temperature in the cockpit of construction. Once the necessary temperature has been obtained, the laser activates, passes through the lens and moves on the powder layer along a trajectory calculated by the pilot computer to establish the 2D contours of the prototype section corresponding to its manufacturing height.

The laser will allow the powder to sinter, thus harden and weld through the heat scattered at the precise points designated by the laser. Once the first layer of powder has been treated, the platform will go down by 0.10 mm to repeat all its operations: the laser taps on the powder to harden it, the platform goes down, the roller deposits an even layer of powder until the prototype is obtained finished.

After that it is necessary to wait for the temperature of the production cabin to go down to access the manufacturing. At this stage, the “cake” looks like a cube of powder that must be deposited on a cleaning station and cools to avoid any deformation of the pieces. Then the cleaning of the models that must be found in the block of powder and cleaned with brushes and various tools. They are finally sanded to remove excess powder remaining.

The prototypes in powder sintering are porous but they can still receive a definition: simple priming, painting or even metallization.

Sintering powder on video at Axis

Laser sintering and its advantages
Powder sintering is often favored when 3D printing projects to be performed are complex shapes or require good mechanical strength. These properties make powder sintering often suitable for making clippings or hinges. Finally, all the materials used for this type of additive manufacturing have a thermal resistance often greater than those used in stereolithography.

Laser sintering and its disadvantages
Prototypes manufactured in powder sintering, or laser sintering, have a risk of deformation because of the manufacturing temperature.

In addition, the surface state of the laser sintered parts is often granular and porous due to the polymerization of this powdery material. This is why the paint finish is possible, but more complex and expensive than stereolithography parts because of this porosity.

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