Laser Sintering, short for Selective Laser Sintering (SLS®) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), are Rapid Prototyping and manufacturing processes. Also associated with direct digital manufacturing and e-manufacturing, these cutting edge technologies produce smooth, accurate and very durable plastic and metal parts while maintaining very tight tolerances.
Due to the tolerances we can maintain and the strength these parts offered, Laser Sintering has become the preferred process of prototyping, and is quickly becoming an acceptable and even conventional method of manufacturing.
For SLS, max build chamber size is 29" x 21.65" x 29.53". Standard tolerances are +/- 0.005" for the first inch, and +/- 0.003" for each inch thereafter.
For DMLS, part tolerances can range from 0.010" to as fine as +/- 0.001". Max build chamber for DMLS is 9.85" x 9.85" x 8", however parts taller than roughly seven inches may require the machine to be paused while new material is added. This may result in a faint-looking notch in the part.
New materials are currently being beta tested, including aluminum and Inconel 625 and 718. With the exception of Ti4 and aluminum, parts can are built in a nitrogen-based environment. All others must be built in an argon-based environment.