Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a 3D Printing process but can be used for low volume production of < 100-500 NOS. We use EOS P110 & P396 machines to achieve consistent output. A typical SLS machine gives an accuracy of (+/-) 200 µm. SLS is more cost-effective for smaller parts. It is also preferred for complex part geometries irrespective of the part size.
SLS parts have a quick turnaround time and are usually fabricated within 3-4 business days
Since SLS is a laser sintering process, the parts have a consistent dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.2 mm
Since SLS is a powder based technology, it is possible to fabricate multiple parts in one single build. This leads to quick turn-around times and faster time to market.
Since SLS is a 3D printing technology where material is deposited layer by layer, SLS parts will have slight layer marks visible on the curved surfaces. These layer marks can be mitigated by post-processing.
SLS machine has a maximum bounding box of 340x340x600mm. Thus, parts having dimensions greater than these would either have to be fabricated in some other technology or they have to be fabricated in multiple pieces which later will be joined together.
SLS parts have an inherent grainy surface finish. The surface finish can be improved by post-processing the parts.
Chizel has conducted a comprehensive study on numerous parts manufactured over several years to come up with a detailed table that talks about when to use SLS Productions runs and when to opt for Batch production with Vacuum Casting.
Need assistance in selecting the right manufacturing process for low volume production? Talk to our experts.