Aug. 26, 2014

"Selective Laser Sintering" is one of the oldest 3D printing technology around. It uses laser as the power source to sinter powdered material to create a solid structure. Unlike some other additive manufacturing processes, such as fused deposition modeling (FDM), SLS does not require support structures and can produce parts with fine details.

While there are many desktop 3D printers on the market, most of these printers use a FDM method, not SLS. SLS is often more expensive than FDM machine: a professional 3D SLS printer starts around 200,000€. However there are some inventors out there who want to build their own affordable laser sintering 3D printers.

Two weeks ago, UK based company Norge Systems announced that they are building "the world's first low-budget but high quality SLS printer that even a small or medium design studio can afford." Norge Systems' two new SLS 3D printer: Ice9 and Ice1 are priced at $34,000 and $13,000 respectively. However, the Norge Systems is not the only company working on affordable SLS 3D printer. Sintratec, a company from Switzerland is currently developing a desktop selective laser sintering DIY 3D printer.

Sintratec is founded by electrical engineers Joscha Zeltner, Christian Von Burg, and Dominik Solenicki who have been working on this project since 2012. Sintratec plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in October with a price that everyone can afford: 3,999 euro ($5,277) for backers. Their goal is to raise money to ship at least 60 of the SLS 3D printer kits worldwide.

Sintratec's current prototype, the "Bobby", is built in sturdy aluminum, foam glass and steel and has a 130mm cubed print volume. In order to ensure low cost they use a compact diode laser instead of the CO2 lasers commonly used in current SLS 3D printers. Sintratec's prototype 3D printer uses a diode laser (445nm, blue) with an output power of over 2W. To get a good laser spot they also use beam correction optics. Significantly cheaper than CO2 lasers, their compact diode laser pumps solid-state lasers in the visible spectral region for safer operation.

This demo below shows the capabilities of Sintratec's desktop laser 3D printer to build moving parts in one print without having to use support structures. The powder they used in the video is PA12-Black (Nylon). It is also possible to use other materials like wax, says the team. And it takes around 90 minutes to print the wrench below with 25% infill. Check out the video below:


Stay tuned for the updated news about Sintratec and their affordable SLS 3D printer, you can also sign up for notifications on their website.

 

Posted in 3D Printers

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Brian Newnan, Austin wrote at 12/4/2014 10:50:26 PM:

sintratec had entered crowd funding, and now very close to meeting its goal. Sill 4 machines left to fund the project, I am considering a second machine to help them along. SLS is the way to go, and larger z dimension may be in the works. Brian Newnan

former customer of indiegogo wrote at 8/29/2014 9:53:57 PM:

I would echo the comment on indiegogo - don't use it for projects and backer beware. I too backed a project that 'expired' (didn't meet funding) and yet the people in charge were able to extend it... Even in the additional time they were not going to make it, yet some how they put in their own money in last hours to claim the pot. I asked indiegogo for a refund due to clarity on extensions, funding definitions (any vs all-or-nothing) and such, and they simply said contact the project leads. Even with also contacting them, I still fail to see refund, updates on project or product. Even suggesting along the way to project leads to remove costs/complexity of making non-essential plastic parts and just make those parts STL file available was ignored... I'm not going to use indiegogo again regardless of projects.

alidan wrote at 8/28/2014 11:56:14 AM:

@Gully Foyle um, no one does anything. indiegogo may be what i have to go through to get funding for my project because i may not have the ability to go through kickstarter.

AMnerd wrote at 8/27/2014 9:55:10 AM:

This looks amazing! I'm really looking forward to it.

MarkC wrote at 8/27/2014 2:45:37 AM:

Nice job! this is a great looking machine.

Gully Foyle wrote at 8/26/2014 8:10:13 PM:

Never fund through INDIEGOGO. If you get ripped off by conmen and thieves, and many have including recently me, INDIEGOGO does absolutely nothing to aid in recovering your investment. Once they receive their cut they just have no reason to care.



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