SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING

Axis explains powder sintering technology to you in but a few words.

Axis uses sintering: an ideal process for technical models!

Powder sintering is a method for manufacturing prototypes using additive manufacturing methods, just like stereolithography. The principle of this technology is polymerisation of the polyamide power for its solidification with successive 0.10 mm layers using a 3D file or a digital model.

The different stages of this manufacturing method are outlined in more detail below.

DTM Axis

How does it works?

To be able to obtain a piece using powder Sintering technology, several steps are needed:

  • Preparation:
    • Right at the start, having a 3D file is essential; these are obtained using 3D design software (.STEP or .STL format).
    • This file is then processed and cut in fine 0.10 mm slices with care by us.
  • Construction:
    • This information is transmitted to the production machine. This Sintering machine is composed of a pilot computer, 2 powder reservoirs, a platform, a lens and a laser. The construction of the piece starts with the platform in a high position, on the construction surface of the machine.
    •  A thick level of powder is deposited on the platform with the help of a roller or an arm, depending on the machine being used.
    • Once the machine is closed, it will heat up until a certain temperature in the construction cockpit is reached.
    • Once this temperature has been reached, the laser will start up, cross the lens and direct itself in accordance with the trajectory calculated by the pilot computer as part of the tracing of the contours of the piece.
    • Upon laser contact, the powder will become compact and welded, since the heat will be increased at this precise location, thus reaching the melting point and sintering the material.
    • The platform will descend by 0.10 mm, then a new layer of powder will be deposited over it.
    • The different successive phases are as follows: the laser taps on the powder to harden it, the platform descends, the roller / arm deposits a uniform layer of powder etc., …
    • Once all the successive layers have been generated, the cockpit temperature will descend again, and the entire production will be accessible.
  • Finishing:
    • The manufactured “cake” now looks like a cube of powder.
    • It is then deposited on a sieve before it cools down, so that its core will not be too hot, in order to prevent any risk of deformation of the pieces.
    • In a manner similar to archaeological excavations, with the help of brushes and tools we will seek the prototypes produced at the centre of the powder.
    • The pieces will thus be “de-powdered”, sanded, … to remove all the excess of powder still present.

Explanation en Images

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