SLS Printing Services
Exceptional selective laser sintering results
What is SLS?
The acronym SLS stands for Selective Laser Sintering, sintering is the process of compacting and forming a solid mass of material by heat and/or pressure without melting it to the point of liquefaction.
Malcolm Nicholls Ltd and SLS 3D Printing
The use of SLS 3D Printing allows MNL to automatically build functional parts, casting patterns and tooling inserts from your 3D CAD data. Our HiQ Sinterstation system (SLS 3D Printing machine) represents the future of Instant Manufacturing Technology. SLS or Selective Laser Sintering directly produces end-use plastic or metal parts, tooling inserts, or casting patterns from your 3D CAD data files. Eliminate the need for machining, tooling, casting or other secondary processes — saving you time and money.
“SLS Rapid Prototyping for functional high-strength components – without the need for tooling”
How does SLS work?
When using a SLS 3D printer, a thin layer of material powder is applied on top of the building platform, which is inside a hot chamber with the temperature just under the material’s sintering point. A powerful laser beam “draws” a 2D section of your part on the material surface then with an increase in the temperature above the sintering temperature, the laser sinters the powder particles together, and where necessary to the layer beneath too.
With new layers being deposited on top of the first one and the process repeating itself until the very last 2D section of the part is produced. The last step is taking the part out that is now buried within the unsintered powder, we then de-cake the part (removing all of the powder) and take it to our workshop for any additional client finishing requirements.
SLS 3D Printing Applications
- Nylon: Superior Finish Innov’PA 1550
- Test your first off rapid prototype without the fear of breakage
- Acts like moulded components, strong and durable
- Excellent for fit and function. Ideal for clip features, hinges and snap-fit connections
- Build more complex structures than SLA as no supports are required
- High chemical resistance. High-Temperature resistance
- Durable patterns for sand casting
- Superior surface, straight from machine, compared to … Duraform PA, GF, EX or EOS PA2200, or PA320
- For a detailed material datasheet download here
- Investment Casting Wax alternative: Castform™ PS
The benefits of SLS Rapid Prototyping
- Built from successive layers, SLS prototype parts are laser fused to produce a 3D product with an exceptional range of properties
- High strength and rigidity
- Excellent mechanical properties
- Functional, high-quality plastic parts
- Stable over long periods of time
- Moveable parts abrasion resistance
- High resolution and selectivity
- High chemical resistance
- Food contact compliant
- Medical application appropriate
- Please get in touch for details of compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Support systems not required
At Malcolm Nicholls Ltd we use PA 2200 (base PA12) material for our SLS Prototyped parts.
What is PA2200 SLA
PA2200 is a fine, white powder with a well-balanced property profile which makes it an ideal choice for a wide variety of applications. Laser-sintered parts using PA 2200 possess excellent material properties including:
- Long term stability along with high strength and stiffness
- Fully functional, high-quality plastic parts
- Excellent mechanical properties making it an ideal substitute for common injection moulding plastics
- Ideal for parts with movable components due to its high abrasion resistance
- Biocompatible according to EN ISO 10993-1 and USP/level VI/121 °c, allowing its use in medical applications e.g. for prostheses
- Approved for food contact in compliance with the EU plastics directive 2002/72/EC (exception: foodstuffs with high alcohol content)
- Good chemical resistance
- Ecological valuation – US Pharmacopeia Class VI Approved
Using SLS to Produce a Unique Piece of Art
A short video looking at combining SLS and high quality finishing at MNL.
SLS Models and Projects
Explore many different projects where SLS 3D printing has played a part. Various projects from components used straight from the machine, through to fully finished exhibition quality models.
3D Printed Using the SLS Process
MNL only uses the finest powders for the best combination of functionality and surface finish.
Functional or Working Prototypes
Fully test the functionality of your designs. Larger parts can be built in sections and put together by our skilled team.
Glass and Aluminium Filled Nylon
We can help you select the best rapid prototyping process for your product development process.
Our rapid prototype models can quickly evolve to encompass all the characteristics of your final product.
Choose a method to get your prices
Get in touch
Waterloo Industrial Estate, Waterloo Cres, Bidford-on-Avon, B50 4JH