Before 3D printing technology was widely used, the processing tools of the prototype factory mainly relied on turning and milling machines and CNC machining to complete the additive manufacturing, and the process was extremely cumbersome and expensive. However, as 3D printing technology becomes more and more mature, the processing procedure of the prototype becomes simpler and the production cost is greatly reduced.
Due to its unique processing technology, SLS does not require a support structure during processing, and no matter how complex the structural model is, it can be printed out. In addition to its scanning speed and the comprehensive combination of rapid cooling system, the printing speed is faster and more convenient than traditional processing. At the same time, the cycle efficiency of prototype production is greatly improved. So what is the 3D printing process of SLS technology?
The SLS 3D printing process starts by heating the powder box and building the zone below the melting point of the polymer, and a recoating blade is used to spread a thin layer of powder on the build platform. Subsequently, the CO2 laser scans the outline of the next layer and sinters the particles of the powder. To ensure that the part is completely solid, the entire cross-section of the part needs to be scanned. Once a layer is complete, the build platform is moved down and the blade is resurfaced with a clean powder coat, repeating the process until the part is complete.
There are many post-processing steps after printing. Solid 3D printed parts are in unsintered powder, and the build chamber needs to cool when the part is removed, which can take about 12 hours.
After the parts are removed from the build chamber, they will be cleaned using a compressed air station or other form of blasting technology. The recovered residual unsintered powder is collected for reuse.
3D printing technology is currently mainly used to make digital prototype models of aviation, automobiles, medical care, and home appliances. The use of 3D printing technology can be used for faster and more efficient manufacturing.