5 tips for successful SLS 3D prints

Victoria Malmgren3D-printer, SLS, TipsLeave a Comment

Rotating pipe wrench

In a perfect world, it should be possible to design and print anything in an SLS 3D printer. But just like with any other technique, SLS has its limitations. As a designer or user of SLS 3D printing, you need to be familiar with these limitations in order to print successfully. But are the limitations absolute? Isn’t there anything one can do to increase the success rates? For some people, limits are there to be challenged. Such people make the impossible possible. Peter is one of these people.

The tempo is high at Wematter, but we manage to catch Customer Success Manager Peter Ohléhn as he has started up yet another Gravity – the Wematter SLS 3D printer. Peter spends most of his time scrutinizing 3D prints, planning print jobs, and building different scenes in Deep Space, a dedicated nesting- and slicing software for 3D prints. He has seen the details of innumerous 3D prints in his career, and he should know how to succeed with your 3D prints.

Here are his 5 best tips!

  1. Most importantly, the measurements need to be adapted for SLS, and that the 3D printer can handle. The laser can bypass too thin details. This also goes for fine, small cavities. If they are too fine, they risk being sintered shut.
  2. As the prints are done, placing the prints in the software for nesting and slicing. I.e. a beam printed horizontally will be stronger than if printed vertically.
  3. Thin and extended objects like pipes are the exception to the above rule. This is because such objects easily warp. To avoid this, Peter recommends a 20° angle when placing such objects.
  4. The following tip concerns 3D printed objects with surfaces containing graphical elements, like logotypes or text. The best results are achieved when placing such surfaces facing upwards. Unlike the thin parts, the graphically ornamented parts need to be placed horizontally. 
  5. Peter’s fifth and last tip is to be mindful of corners and sharp edges. Be aware that these simply can’t be printed using SLS 3D printing. SLS uses a laser that has the smallest diameter of +-0,4 mm. Respecting the limits of the technology and selectively choosing objects suitable for SLS 3D printing saves you both time, money, and frustration.

As a bonus, we would like to mention the unique possibility that SLS 3D prints offer, namely to print movable parts in one piece! If you plan to do this, Peter advises you to leave a 0,15 mm space on every side of the movable part, to avoid sintering the parts together.

Do you want to know more about how to print successful SLS 3D prints? Fill in this contact form and we will contact you!

About Wematter AB (publ)

Swedish 3D printing company Wematter’s pioneering solution gives hospitals, offices, and workshops access to a comprehensive system. For the first time, employees can easily print components themselves with the same strength and quality as traditional technology. Wematter’s proprietary end-to-end solution enables customers to accelerate product development and in-house volume production. At the same time, the system creates the conditions for increased flexibility, lower risk, and reduced manufacturing and development costs.

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