The application of selective laser sintering is based on two key advantages:
- Production without prior preparation, because there is no need for tools that use shaping technology;
- Possibilities of object production with complex geometrical characteristics, which can not be produced using traditional production technologies;
Selective laser sintering is a shortest path from a computer model to the real object, so what is the solution for the preparation of test samples, individualized products, tools for design technology, and even small product series. The most important application of selective laser sintering:
- Rapid prototyping ( shortened RP - „rapid prototyping“)
- Conception models
- Functional prototypes
- Making tools of complex shape (shortened RT - "rapid tooling")
- Production of small series (shortened RM - "rapid manufacturing")
Rapid PrototypingRapid Prototyping
The possibility of application of SLS technology directly affect changes in the cycle of the new product development (Figure 220.127.116.11-1) and enable saving time and cost (the cost).
Figure 18.104.22.168-1 Development cycles of new products.
Typical (left), Ideal-using SLS technology (right)
Rapid ToolingRapid Tooling
SLS technology is used for directly production of complex tools. Manufacture of tools this technology does not impose restrictions on the geometry of manufactured objects so that in this way produce tools with improved performance, optimized in terms of its continued use. For example, for the production of large series, any shortening of the production cycle of a product results in significant savings in time and money for the entire series.
Direct laser sintering enables production of tools complex external and internal geometry of cooling ducts placed along the surface of complex tools. The result is an efficient cooling, high productivity and cost reduction per product. In traditional methods of production, cooling channels are added to the drilling tool, which limits their geometry to a combination of straight lines. The SLS technology, and the position and shape of the cooling channels can be designed (constructed) following a complex geometry shape of tools.
Many studies and examples (Figure 22.214.171.124-1) demonstrate the benefits of optimizing cooling. The theoretical and practical research [...] showed a reduction in tool temperature and shortening product development cycles. Cycle development work is shortened by about 30-60% by using such a developed tool with optimized cooling [....].
Cycle time: 24s Cycle time: 13,8s
Fig. 126.96.36.199-1. Performance improvement tools for plastic injection:
Conventional drilling cooling channels (left)
Optimized channels made SLS technology (right)