Sintering and Stereo Litography

As a technological concept, SLA printing (Stereo Lithography Apparatus) and SLS printing (Selective Laser Sintering) are superior to FDM printing (Fused Deposition Modelling): the object is supported by the resin (in SLA printing) or the powder (in SLS printing) during the printing process. There is no need for a scaffolding construction on overhanging parts.

Both concepts use curing the printing material, rather than melting it, so heat plays a smaller part. The objects won't warp as much due to cooling down.

On the downside: both printing concepts are more expensive (especially SLS), and tend to get pretty messy, with resin and powder dust all over the place. In an educational environment (especially in the over regulated environment of the Netherlands), that can be an issue.

This project has quite limited experience with SLA printing (Stereo Lithography Apparatus) - the machines are now printing for some 6 months, but the first results are 'promising' as one would put it.

As for the SINTRATEC SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) printer, a Swiss Indiegogo startup project, that one arrived a week ago, as four big boxes filled with all kind of metal parts and screws and electronics and cables… It's an IKEA project on steroids, with a 500 pages construction manual.

We'll keep you posted on the building of this thing (good luck, Eric Steenman…)…

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