What is Selective Laser Sintering ?
Selective Laser Sintering is a laser integrated process with additive manufacturing technique. Sintering is the process of making the solid very strong by heat by compressing and compacting. There are many sintering techniques like general sintering, ceramic sintering, plastic sintering, pressure less sintering and microwave sintering. In selective laser sintering, the laser helps to bind the material defined by a 3d model from Auto Cad or any other software. This creates a solid structure and this process resembles the direct metal laser sintering. This is selective laser sintering and is mostly used for making parts for aircrafts, laptops, ceramic appliances and many more.
Selective Laser Sintering consists of the following parts.
- Scanner system
- Powder delivery system
- Fabrication Powder Bed
- Object being fabricated
- Fabrication Piston
- Powder Delivery Piston
Scanner System –
The scanner system helps to scan the bed completely and gives the data of how much material is getting removed. The scanner system is the main part of the system to get an accurate part.
The laser helps to remove the pieces of material from the work piece. The type of laser used depends on the type of manufacturing material.
Powder Delivery System –
Selective laser sintering consists of continuous removal of material with the help of a laser. This requires powder to be on the surface of the working material. The use of powder is to remove any excess scrap present on the bed and also to not affect the working of selective laser sintering process. Powder delivery system helps to deliver the powder continuously without any interruptions.
A roller is a ball type structure present in between the bed and laser. A Roller continuously runs on the bed of the selective laser sintering. The roller helps to keep the shape of the bed flat so that the laser will do its job efficiently without any errors. A roller also helps to remove the excess powder present on the bed of selective laser sintering.
Fabrication Powder Bed –
Fabrication Powder Bed is the place where the laser performs its job. It is the place where the roller moves. The raw material comes out from the fabrication powder bed.
Object Being Fabricated –
The object being fabricated moves down as the laser continues to work on it. The completed piece of work piece keeps on going downwards. Once the work piece is completed, i.e., the selective laser sintering process is complete, we can take the completed part from the powder.
Fabrication Piston –
Fabrication piston is the piston where the work piece keeps on moving downwards. This downward movement is only due to the fabrication piston moving downwards.
Powder Delivery Piston –
Powder Deliver Piston is the piston where the powder comes from. The roller moves from powder delivery system starting position to fabrication powder bed ending point. So the powder delivery piston must keep on moving upward continuously as the process comes to an end from the start.
As we observe, it is clear that the Powder delivery system moves continuously upwards and the Fabrication piston moves downwards.