Selective Laser Sintering

Complexity of Geometry
High

Create support-free parts and geometries unachievable with other Additive Manufacturing technologies

Experience Level
Moderate

Learn to pack a build for cost-efficient print runs using PreForm

SLS 3D printers work by using a high-powered laser to solidify tiny particles of polymer powder through a sintering process. The Formlabs Fuse Series are industrial SLS with a simplified workflow and compact benchtop format, which deliver high-quality parts at a lower-cost than traditional systems. Formlabs have made SLS technology manageable, affordable and easy to use.

SLS 3D printing works by fusing a layer of powder at a time, with the part being supported by the unfused material allowing complex designs with features that interconnect. Formlabs Surface Armor technology (patent-pending) is a semi-sintered shell that surrounds each part to improve the surface quality and mechanical properties at the same time.

What can SLS print?

End-Use Parts
Short-Run, Bridge Or Custom Manufacturing
Functional Prototypes
Durable Manufacturing Aids
Medical Devices, Prosthetics, Orthotics

Interested In SLS?

Want to know if your application is suitable for SLS Printing?

Why choose Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

The Fuse 1 and Fuse 1+ SLS systems allow you to bring manufacturing in-house, saving you time and money over outsourced solutions while also de-risking your supply-chain by giving you back control.

No supports needed

SLS parts are supported by the powder as they print, so no supports are needed.

Excellent mechanical properties

Nylon 12, Nylon 12 GF, Nylon 11 and Nylon 11 CF (Fuse 1+ 30W) powders print long-lasting, durable parts

High throughput

Remove build chamber to cool and start printing again with your 2nd build chamber for 24/7 throughput

High-speed

Prototypes and end-use parts ready to use in under 24 hours

Powder recovery

Fuse Sift makes powder recovery safe and efficient - all-in-one unit extracts, recovers, stores and mixes - maximum recycling.

Want To Discuss SLS?

Get Impartial, Expert Knowledge On The Capabilities Of SLS Printing

Printing Examples

SLS Printers

Formlabs Fuse 1+30W

Truly rapid SLS for high-performance parts in hours, not days + access to Nylon 11 CF

Formlabs Fuse 1

High quality Benchtop industrial SLS 3D Printer for nylon powder printing without supports

Formlabs Fuse 1

High-quality Benchtop industrial SLS 3D Printer for nylon powder printing without supports

Formlabs Fuse 1+ 30W

Truly rapid SLS for high-performance parts in hours, not days + access to Nylon 11 CF

Fix Supply Chain Problems - Stop Outsourcing

Calculate Your ROI by Bringing Manufacturing In-House

Book a Call with an Additive Manufacturing Specialist Today To Find Out How

FAQ’S

Commonly asked questions about Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

SLS 3D Printing fuses powder layer by layer. The unused material supports the parts during the printing to create complete, interconnecting designs with no need for support structures.
The Fuse 1+ 30W users can increase their throughput, unlock new, high-performance materials, and deliver parts faster. When using an on otional nitrogen supply feature it unlocks Nylon 11 Carbon Fill and with Nylon 11 the refresh rate is improved to a refresh rate of 70used/ 30 new material.
No mess at all! A clever negative air pressure system keeps the powder inside the Sift when you open the lid during clean up!
Due to the refresh rate Nylon 12 being 30 new 70 recycled powder it minimises material waste.
Keep the Fuse 1 clean to ensure maximum functionality throughout the lifetime of the machine. Clean the Fuse 1’s components with the appropriate tools and solvents, depending on what the component is made of. Contact us for the table.
Refresh rate refers to the ability of an SLS 3D printer to print with a mix of new and recycled powder, minimising material waste and optimising cost per part. The powder refresh rate is the minimum fraction of fresh powder required to print. The Fuse 1 consistently produces high quality prints using a refresh rate of 30 – 50% for Nylon 12 Powder. This means you can print with up to 70% reclaimed powder
The Fuse 1 has a build volume of 16.5 × 16.5 × 30.0 cm (6.5 × 6.5 × 11.8 in). The powder contracts after printing, resulting in a final maximum build volume of 15.92 × 15.92 × 29.55 cm (6.27 × 6.27 × 11.63 in). This printer makes use of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) to heat and fuse nylon powder into the desired shape.

It will not be possible to print with non-Formlabs powders on the Fuse 1, and there will be no Open Mode on the Fuse 1. Formlabs will be developing a range of materials to broaden the capabilities of the Fuse 1 platform.

Formlabs put extensive work and engineering into a unique printer with unique powder to achieve industrial part quality from the start at a fraction of the cost of competitor machines. Using Formlabs own powder with the Fuse 1 ensures a smooth workflow that has been heavily validated across hardware, software, and materials. No adjusting is necessary.

The Fuse 1 ecosystem includes a complete post-processing station called the Fuse Sift, which combines part extraction, powder recovery, storage, and mixing in a single free-standing device.

Formlabs recommends the use of additional post-processing steps to eliminate graininess on the parts and improve surface finish. A media blasting cabinet, which uses compressed air and an abrasive media like silicon carbide, is highly recommended. Contact us for our recommendation of what our engineers use here in our workshop.

We recommend starting out with 18 kg of Nylon 12 Powder. This is enough powder to complete a few prints on the Fuse 1. This much powder isn’t required to start your first print. You can actually complete prints that only partially fill the build chamber.The build chamber will only fill with powder to the point right above the highest part in the z-axis. You can use the PreForm powder estimates described earlier in this post to determine how much powder to dispense in the hopper, but you can also fill the hopper for an interrupted workflow.
Switching materials on the Fuse 1 is possible but an involved process with thorough cleaning of Fuse and Sift. If you plan on using multiple materials regularly, we would recommend one Fuse 1 and one Fuse Sift per material. Removing all traces of one powder from a machine is time-consuming, and could interfere with proper printing of the second material.

In general, Nylon 12 Powder is a sturdy, robust, durable material. Nylon 12 parts printed on the Fuse 1 are an actual thermoplastic that is suitable for functional, end-use parts. Parts printed with our Nylon 12 Powder absorb very little moisture and do not experience shape or mechanical property changes as you might experience with common nylons such as nylon 6 or nylon 6,6.

If you are already a Formlabs stereolithography (SLA) Printer user, you can expect Fuse 1 prints to be longer lasting and more stable. Compared to stereolithography materials, Nylon 12 prints offer a longer lifetime, better creep performance, and better wear, chemical, and UV resistance