The Selective Laser Sintering is a technique of laser prototyping that employs thermoplastic powders of materials sintered by using a laser beam. Thanks to the rollers, the powders are spread and compacted, the laser scan will then heat them up to a temperature slightly lower than the melting one, just covering up the area identified by the slicing, without any interest for the rest of the powder, and thus creating all the parts of the item, based on the forms prepared through the 3D software. At the end of the production, the extra powder that is not sintered is removed. Then the item can be refined through shaving removal procedures, colouring or metal plating.
This technology enables to accelerate significantly the prototyping processes, to handle quickly possible changes and to realise complex shapes, even with internal holes and cavities, hardly feasible using traditional technologies. Thanks to SLS, indeed, it is possible to obtain high-performance prototypes, with functional characteristics similar to the final material for assembly checking, for size amd shape tests. This is making possible to study a project and its development prior to the production, in order to evaluate the functionality or the design of a product in a very flexible way.