High-Quality
Laser Sintering Parts

Parts in 3 to 5 days.

Laser Sintering is used for:

Quality Matters  |  AS9100D Certified, ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, & ITAR Registered

Certifications and Registrations

* Not all locations have all certifications and registrations. Parts requiring these will be made at facilities with the correct certifications and registrations.

AM Technology_Laser Sintering
Table of Contents

What is Laser Sintering?

Laser sintering, also known as selective laser sintering, is an industrial 3D printing technology. This process involves using a high-powered laser to fuse powdered thermoplastics precisely. Our laser sintering team can produce prototypes or parts within three to five days. The parts are then cleaned of excess powder and are ready to be used or can be further refined for a higher level of finishing. 

One of the most significant benefits of laser sintering is its ability to create complex geometric shapes with ease. The automated vapor smoothing ensures that the production parts are strong, heat-resistant, air-tight, and water-tight, and easy to replicate. Nylon is the primary material used in selective laser sintering, which allows for the creation of flexible end-use parts and living hinges. It can also be dyed in various colors.

Industries such as aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer products, medical and dental, and many more can benefit from laser sintering technology.

How does Laser Sintering work?

Our AM Technicians upload your CAD file, and the software breaks it down layer by layer. In an enclosed chamber that is heated to just below the powdered material’s melting point, a CO2 laser draws each part layer onto the powder bed, fusing the material. When the laser finishes, a roller rolls a new thin layer of powder onto the powder bed, and the process repeats until the parts are complete.

After the build finishes, the whole powder bed is removed and taken to a breakout station where the AM Technicians manually remove each part and brush off the excess powder. Then, the components are placed into a container and blasted with a blasting medium to remove any remaining powder. When this step is complete, the laser sintering parts go to the finishing department, where they can be sanded, primed, and painted, or we can apply any other finishing techniques we offer.

Note: Laser sintering or selective laser sintering does not need support structures.  

Laser Sintering (LS) Illustration

Advantages to Laser Sintering

Laser sintering technology has revolutionized the way products are designed and manufactured. The following are a few of the advantages of laser sintering:

Disadvantages to Laser Sintering

While there are a lot of advantages to laser sintering, there are also some disadvantages to consider:

 

Laser Sintering at Prototek

OEM:

EOS and 3D Systems

Max Build Area:

26 x 13.5 x 21.8 in

Lead Time:

3 – 5 Days

Material:

Fire Retardant Nylon 11, Glass Filled Nylon 12, Nylon 12, and Ultrasint® TPU 88A

Tolerances:

± 0.005 in for the first inch and ± 0.002 in for each additional inch

Layer Thickness:

EOS:  0.005 in

3D Systems:  0.004 in

Prototek's Materials

Material

Description

Characteristics

More Information

Tested and proven to meet the strict requirements of FAR 25.853. This means it can withstand extreme heat and flames for up to 60 seconds without igniting or spreading the fire further. 

  • White
  • Flame Retardant
  • High Strength
  • Impact Resistant
  • Rigid
  • Wear & Tear Resistant

Fortified with glass beads, this material creates parts with higher thermal stability and stiffness than regular Nylon 12.

  • White
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Rigid
  • Temperature Resistant
  • Wear & Tear Resistant

It is a highly versatile and durable laser sintering thermoplastic material that boasts a wide range of exceptional physical properties, which make it an ideal solution for numerous applications across various industries.

  • White
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • Biocompatible*
  • Chemical Resistant
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Impact Resistant
  • Rigid
  • Temperature Resistant

A multi-purpose laser sintering material offering a balanced property profile with good flexibility, shock absorption, and the possibility to print tiny structures with a high level of detail.

  • White
  • Elastomeric
  • Fatigue Resistant
  • Flexible
  • High Detail/High Resolution
  • High Strength
  • Hydrolysis Resistant
  • Shock Absorption 
  • UV Stability

*Special processing may be required. Please notify us of any biocompatibility needs.

Design Recommendations

When designing parts for laser sintering, a few essential considerations must be considered to ensure successful printing. Firstly, it is crucial to create parts with sufficient structural integrity and support to withstand the forces of the sintering process. Secondly, parts must be designed with proper nesting and orientation to minimize distortion and improve print accuracy. To enhance print quality and reduce the need for post-processing, any internal features or cavities should be designed with ample clearance and draft angles. Additionally, selecting appropriate materials and powder properties can impact print quality and final part properties. Finally, it is essential to understand the limitations of the printing technology and design parts within these constraints while still achieving the desired functionality. By considering these factors, designers can optimize their part designs for successful selective laser sintering.

Prototek's Additive Design Poster
Feature Measurement

Connecting & Moving Parts

Connecting: 0.006 in
Moving: 0.012 in

Escape Holes

0.04 in

Embossing & Engraving

Width: 0.04 in
Height/Depth: 0.04 in

Holes & Openings

0.02 in

Horizontal Spans

Supports Not Required

Minimum Features

0.03 in

Pin Diameter

0.02 in

Supports & Overhangs

Supports Not Required

Walls (Supported)

0.03 in

Walls (Unsupported)

Supports Not Required
Feature Measurement

Connecting & Moving Parts

Connecting: 0.15 mm
Moving: 0.3 mm

Escape Holes

1 mm

Embossing & Engraving

Width: 1 mm
Height/Depth: 1 mm

Holes & Openings

0.5 mm

Horizontal Spans

Supports Not Required

Minimum Features

0.7 mm

Pin Diameter

0.5 mm

Supports & Overhangs

Supports Not Required

Walls (Supported)

0.7 mm

Walls (Unsupported)

Supports Not Required

Laser Sintering Finishes

Due to roughness, surface porosity, or other imperfections of laser sintering, the final product may not achieve the desired surface finish following the laser sintering process. As a result, additional post-processing techniques are often necessary to improve the surface finish and enhance the product’s aesthetic and functional properties.

One popular method for improving the surface finish is bead blasting, which uses high-pressure air to propel tiny beads of abrasive material onto the product’s surface. This process removes surface imperfections and leaves a smooth, even surface ready for further finishing.

Vapor smoothing is a post-processing technique for achieving smooth and watertight surfaces. It can be automated using AMT’s post-processing systems.

The component may be dyed or painted to achieve the desired color or finish. This allows for greater customization and can also help to further improve the surface finish by covering up any remaining imperfections.

Overall, the selection of the appropriate post-processing technique for laser-sintered components will depend on the specific material and design of the product, as well as the desired finish and functionality.

Laser Sintering (LS) Component
Why choose Prototek for your next laser sintering project?

Prototek is a reliable and experienced provider of laser sintering services. Our state-of-the-art machines and expertise in the field ensure high-quality prints with quick turnaround times. Additionally, our engineers work with clients to optimize designs for the best possible results, considering the unique requirements and limitations of the selective laser sintering process. Prototek also offers a range of materials, including nylon and glass-filled nylon, allowing clients to choose the suitable material for their application. Finally, with over 30 years of experience in the industry, Prototek has built a reputation for exceptional customer service and competitive pricing. So, if you’re looking for a reliable and experienced partner for your laser sintering needs, Prototek is an excellent choice.

What do our customers say about us?
They are competitively priced for their services and a very personable team to work with. If you haven't used them - do it! You'll have a lifelong vendor you be happy with that repeatedly goes above and beyond what is asked.
Product Designer
We are extremely happy with the quality of the parts as well as the level of service - thanks!
VP Product Designer