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SLS nylon bracket

SLS 3D printing service

Upload your CAD files, receive an instant Selective Laser Sintering 3D printing quote and get your parts into production in less than 5 minutes.

Get instant quote Our capabilities

Functional prototypesEnd-use partsLead times from 6 days

What is SLS?

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an industrial 3D printing process ideal for manufacturing end-use parts.


In SLS, a laser selectively sinters polymer powder particles, fusing them together and building a part layer-by-layer.


SLS produces functional plastic parts with isotropic mechanical properties that can be used for detailed prototyping or end-use low-volume production.

SLS manufacturing facility
Choose SLS for: Choose a different process for:
High-accuracy functional prototypes from a wide range of engineering materials Low-cost visual prototypes for form and fit (choose FDM or SLA/DLP)
Cost-effective, low-volume production of end-use parts for volumes of 1 to 300 units Production volumes greater than 500 units (choose Injection molding)
Isotropic parts with complex geometry (no need for support structures) Parts with tight tolerances and low surface roughness (choose CNC machining)

Our SLS 3D printing capabilities

From prototyping to small-batch production, our global network of certified SLS 3D printing facilities will allow you to produce highly accurate parts with quality and strength comparable to injection molding.

Upload your CAD file for a free quote and manufacturability review and get your parts into production in less than 5 minutes.

Standard capabilities Description
Maximum build size * 300 x 300 x 300 mm (11.8” x 11.8” x 11.8”)
Lead time * 6 business days
Dimensional accuracy ± 0.3% with a lower limit of ± 0.3 mm (± 0.012”)
Layer thickness 100 μm

* For expedited lead times or parts that exceed the maximum build size contact sales@3dhubs.com

Available materials

SLS produces parts from a very wide range of engineering thermoplastics. Here is a list of the SLS materials available on 3D Hubs.

Material Description
Nylon 12 (PA 12) SLS nylon is a robust thermoplastic with all-around excellent physical properties, ideal for functional prototypes and end-use applications.
Glass-filled Nylon (PA 12 GF) Glass-filled SLS nylon is reinforced with glass beads creating parts with higher stiffness and thermal stability than standard nylon.
TPU / TPE / TPA * Thermoplastic elastomers combine high elasticity and strength with good chemical resistance, making them ideal for functional, flexible parts.
Flame retardant Nylon (PA 12 FR) * Flame retardant SLS nylon typically contains halogen-based agents making them suitable for electronic, automotive or aviation applications.
Fiberglass-filled Nylon (HST) * Nylon-based composite with anisotropic properties suitable for end-use, functional applications that require high stiffness and low weight.
Carbon fiber filled PEKK (HT-23) * Advanced composite with excellent thermal and chemical resistance, well suited for applications that require maximum performance and isotropic properties.

* These materials are available by contacting sales@3dhubs.com

Available surface finishes

Additional post processes can be applied to improve the appearance or mechanical properties of parts produced with SLS. Learn more about the post-processing option for SLS in our Knowledge Base article.

  Finish Description
SLS nylon as-printed white As printed As printed SLS parts are typically white or stone grey in color with a smooth surface and a powder texture and without visible layers.
SLS nylon dyed black Dyed SLS parts can be dyed by immersing in a warm color bath to a variety of colors. The color penetration reaches an approximate depth of 0.5 mm and covers all surfaces.
SLS finish tumbling Tumble smoothing * The parts are placed in a tumbler that contains small ceramic chips, gradually eroding its surface down to a polished injection molding-like finish.
SLS Blasted Bead blasting Bead blasting (shot pinning) adds a uniform matte or satin surface finish on a 3D printed part. *
SLS spray painting Spray painting * SLS pars can be spray painted white, black or to a specified RAL or Pantone color.
SLS sealing Water tightening * SLS parts are vacuum impregnated with resin, sealing all internal porosity and ensuring water tightness.
Copper platting Metal plating * Electroplating (nickel, copper or gold) is an ideal solution for parts that require a metallic appearance, without the high costs associated with metal 3D printing.

* These finishes are available by contacting sales@3dhubs.com

Ideal SLS applications

Our in-house manufacturing experts recommend using SLS for the following use cases.

Functional prototyping

SLS is ideal for fabricating functional prototypes from durable, chemically resistant engineering thermoplastics.


Requirements
Strength: Medium/High
Appearance: Smooth surface
Quantity: 1-5 parts

SLS nylon functional prototype

Low-volume production

SLS is cost-competitive to injection molding for low-volume manufacturing of end-use plastics parts for quantities up to 300 units.


Requirements
Strength: Medium/High
Appearance: Injection molding-like
Quantity: 10-300 parts

SLS nylon low run production

High-performance components

SLS can produce optimized parts from advanced polymer composites that can be used as replacements to metal components.


Requirements
Strength: High
Appearance: Smooth surface
Quantity: 1-50 parts

SLS high-performance part

Design guidelines for SLS

The table below summarizes the recommended and technically feasible values for the most common features encountered in 3D printed parts.

Feature Recommended size
Unsupported walls 1.0 mm (0.040'')
Supported walls 0.7 mm (0.030'')
Minimum detail size 0.25 mm (0.010'')
Minimum hole size 1.0 mm (0.040'')
Moving parts 0.5 mm (0.020'') between moving surfaces
Assembly clearance 0.4 mm (0.016'') between mating surfaces
Maximum wall thickness 20 mm (0.8'')

For thicker parts, make them hollow and add at least two escape hole for powder removal with a min. diameter of 8 mm (0.3'').

Learn how to design for SLS in our Knowledge Base article.

Galip Okan Ozturk, EMEA Strategic Account Manager Galip Okan Ozturk EMEA Strategic Account Manager
Polly Calhoun, US Strategic Account Manager Polly Calhoun US Strategic Account Manager
David Nguyen, EMEA Sales Engineer David Nguyen EMEA Sales Engineer

3D Hubs for Business

Get in touch with our sales representatives to set up your company account and access these services:

  • NET30 payment terms
  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Additional services: sheet metal, urethane casting and part marking
  • Design verification program (learn more)
  • Dedicated account manager
  • ISO 9001, material certifications, test reports and full dimensional reports

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