Rethink ‘possible’

Laser Sintering, also known as selective Laser Sintering (SLS), is among the most versatile and frequently used 3D printing technologies: you can find laser-sintered parts in airplanes, wearables, machine components and production tools.

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How Does Laser Sintering Work?

Laser Sintering is a laser-based technology that uses solid powder materials, typically plastics. A computer-controlled laser beam selectively binds together particles in the powder bed, by raising the powder temperature above the glass transition point after which adjacent particles flow together. As the powder is self-supporting, no support structures are necessary.

Why choose Laser Sintering?

With no need for support structures, this technology is suitable for interlocking parts, moving parts, living hinges and other highly complex designs. Whether you need fully functional prototypes or a series of complex end-use parts, Laser Sintering’s design freedom serves both. Besides, we make production fast and cost-effective for you by maximizing the available build space in each machine.

 

Ideal applications for Laser Sintering

  • Prototypes with mechanical properties to rival those of injection-molded parts

  • Series of small components as a cost-effective alternative to injection molding

  • Large and complex functional parts up to 700 x 380 x 580 mm in one piece

  • Personalized manufacturing, the economical production of unique, complex, designs built as one-off products or in small batches

  • Lightweight designs using complex lattice structures

Choose Laser Sintering
When You Need…

  • Fast lead times and economical prices
  • Durable and functional parts
  • Large and complex parts
  • Direct production of low-volume projects
  • Design freedom unhampered by support structure

Technical Specifications for Laser Sintering

Standard lead time Minimum of 4 working days, depending on part size, number of components and finishing degrees
Minimum of 2 working days for parts with dimensions smaller than 200 x 100 x 100 mm
Standard accuracy ± 0.3% (with lower limit on ± 0.3 mm)
Layer thickness 0.12 mm
Minimum wall thickness 1 mm, but living hinges are possible at 0.3 mm
Maximum part dimensions Dimensions are unlimited as components may be composed of several sub-parts. The build area of our largest machine is 650 x 330 x 560 mm
Surface structure Unfinished parts typically have a grainy surface but all kinds of fine finishes are possible. Laser-sintered parts can be sandblasted, colored/impregnated, painted, covered and coated

Materials for Laser Sintering

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PA 12 (Polyamide)

Being a solid material, polyamide powder has the attractive feature of being self-supporting for the generated product sections. This makes support structure redundant. Polyamide allows the production of fully functional prototypes or end-use parts with high mechanical and thermal resistance. Polyamide parts have excellent long-term stability and are resistant against most chemicals. They can be made watertight by impregnation. The PA material used by Materialise is certified as biocompatible and food-safe under certain conditions.

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Alumide (Polyamide Aluminum-Filled)

Alumide is a blend of aluminum powder and polyamide powder, which allows metallic-looking, non-porous components to be machined easily and is resistant to high temperatures (130°C). Typical applications include parts for wind tunnel testing in the automotive industry, small production runs, jig manufacturing, education and illustrative models with a metallic appearance.

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PA-GF (Polyamide Glass-Filled)

Polyamide powder filled with glass particles (PA-GF) has a much higher thermal resistance (up to 110°C) than polyamide, and is typically used in functional tests with high thermal loads. This material exhibits excellent stiffness, high density and tensile strength, combined with low specific weight. As a result, PA-GF is ideal for demanding conditions where stiffness, temperature performance or wear resistance is key.

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TPU 92A-1 (Rubberlike Thermoplastic Polyurethane)

TPU 92A-1, a thermoplastic polyurethane, is a fully-functional flexible and strong material. TPU 92A-1 is the only 3D printing material that combines the qualities of durable elasticity, high tear and abrasion resistance, high resistance to dynamic loading, snappy response and a good thermal resistance (-20°C to 80°C). This material is food-safe under certain conditions.

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PA 2241 FR (Polyamide Flame-Retardant)

PA 2241 FR is a flame-resistant polyamide (PA 12) material. Owing to its flame-retardant quality, this high-performance plastic is suitable for aeronautics and aerospace applications in accordance with FAR 25.853.

Finishing Degrees for Laser-Sintered Parts

Finishing Powder removal Sandblasting Smoothing Primer Coating/Paint
Normal      
Smooth    
Primer  
Spray Paint    
Spray painted according to RAL color
Flocked    
Coated in flocking fiber for velvet-like touch; available in 20 colors
Soft Touch
Soft touch coating according to RAL color (translucent)
Color Dyeing  
Available in 20 colors
Dead Matte Paint
Our most matte option, with gloss factor of 10%
Matte Paint
Gloss factor of 30%
Satin Paint
Gloss factor of 50%
High-Gloss Paint
Our most glossy option, with gloss factor of 90%
Fine-Texture Paint
Matte color paint with fine texture
Medium-Texture Paint
Matte color paint with medium texture
Coarse-Texture Paint
Matte color paint with coarse texture

Looking for a consumer-grade finish?

We offer you Materialise Luxura: a premium finish in 15 contemporary colors and surface treatments, to ensure your product looks and feels like the winner that it is.

Discover Luxura