Laser Sintering (LS) with plastics is one of the most promising additive manufacturing technologies: it is currently regarded as the process most likely in the future to permanently cross the border between prototyping and the production of functional parts. This step is challenging because it means that the technology must meet certain requirements that are also valid for traditional and established production processes. Only by succeeding at this step can a wide industry acceptance of LS be expected in the future.
In this context, this book covers all levels of the LS process chain, including:
- Current state of the machine technology
- Essential process steps, both before and during sintering
- Specific demands of the materials, powder production methods, and evaluation of powder properties
- Mechanical properties and density of the parts produced by LS
Examples of LS-produced parts are given, including those with special design features, to illustrate the characteristics and also the limitations of the LS method. In particular, the distinct advantages of LS parts over parts produced with other plastics processing methods (e.g., injection molding) are discussed.
Dr. Manfred Schmid studied chemistry at the University of Bayreuth and obtained a PhD in Macromolecular Chemistry. Until 1997, he worked as a chemist in polyamide research at EMS-Chemie (CH). Subsequently, he was the project manager in the field of plastic analysis / biopolymers at EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. Since 2008, Dr. Schmid is Head of Research and Development for SLS at Inspire AG, Switzerland.