Thanks to a comprehensive range of materials and free construction without support structures, selective laser sintering (SLS) is interesting for a wide variety of industries. The production of prototypes and models has been the core application of this additive manufacturing process from the very beginning, which is why SLS also became known in the context of rapid prototyping. Without tools and manual processing steps, functional and mechanically resilient prototypes are created directly from 3D data. Selective laser melting (SLM) is used for metallic applications, for example for rapid tooling, the rapid production of tools or tool components.

Here you can learn more about the materials and properties of SLS.

Realizing complex geometries in functional materials – these advantages make laser-sintered components attractive for a wide range of applications. In addition to demonstration models, the demand for fully functional components is growing in innovative industries such as aerospace or medical technology.

Mass Customization in Medicine

Customized mass production also sets innovation impulses in the medical field. Selective laser sintering allows the production of complicated and filigree structures that can also be manufactured economically in small batches or one-offs. Different objects can be created in a single work step, which significantly reduces the cost of a single dental implant, for example. The materials used for medical purposes are based on human biology. Bone implants, for example, are created from bioresorbable basic materials such as tricalcium phosphate (TCP). Due to their nature-like structure, they promote the reconstruction of the body’s own bone substance.

Unlimited possibilities

Today, additive manufacturing is helping to pave the way for mass customization and Industry 4.0, as design flexibility has now also been recognized as an asset for the production of lifestyle products: Almost any item can be customized with the help of laser-sintered components. In this way, unique insoles for sports shoes or personally designed pieces of jewelry can be created without any additional effort.

Durable lightweight

Laser-sintered parts are being used more and more frequently in the aerospace industry because they are nevertheless highly resilient with a low dead weight. They are used in the production of interior fittings and engine components, among other things. Less weight means less fuel consumption and thus added value for the environment – an advantage that also comes into play in the automotive industry, as the reduction of CO2 emissions has become a relevant factor.