3D Printing & Imaging
Sintratec: Affordable Home SLS Printer Coming Soon

Desktop Selective Laser Sintering, or SLS, is a highly sought after item in the 3d printing world. SLS printers print by layering fine powder, then selectively “sintering” or melting it with a laser. Since there is a solid “cake” of powder, no support materials are necessary. Typically these machines are extremely expensive and quite large. Sintratec is hoping to change that.

The Sintratec team currently consists of 3 electrical engineers based out of Switzerland: Joscha Zeltner, Christian Von Burg, and Dominik Solenicki. The three hope to launch a crowdfunding campaign in October to raise enough money to ship at least 60 kit printers. Their current target price is under 3999€ ($5,277), which is considerably cheap for an SLS machine, though still quite pricey compared to your typical FDM printer. However, as you can see in the video above, they are quite different machines.

Their current prototype has a build volume of about 130mm cubed. However, it should be pointed out that the printer is still in development so the build volume might change, as well as the external look and feel.

One big way that they have kept the cost down is by going with a diode based laser. Most large SLS machines use a C02 laser that is quite large, expensive, and can be a bit dangerous since you can’t see the beam. Many safety precautions would have to be put in place. Instead, they went with a compact diode that is in the visible spectrum. While you still need to shield your eyes from the beam, you can at least tell that the beam is on!

If you want to follow the latest news with Sintratec, you can sign up for notifications on their website or follow along on facebook.

2 thoughts on “Sintratec: Affordable Home SLS Printer Coming Soon

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  2. Now I’m wonder if this has a heated build chamber and inert gas purge system. Sintering is a notoriously difficult process because it scales with T^4, meaning the slightest temperature difference can mess things up quite a bit.

    Though they may just be using black wax so may not need that. The use of a laser diode is a nice choice though, CO2 lasers have stability issues that makes them a pain to work with.

    1. It is my understanding of the tech that a heated material bed is mandatory. The material is held just below transition temp and the laser bumps it over.

      1. That is indeed the case, but one does not need a heated bed if one has a powerful enough laser compared to the material in question, or if one has a way to deal with curl.

        One can run a typical industrial laser sintering machine without a heated bed if one takes measures to take care of curl

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Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I'd always love to hear about what you're making, so send me an email any time at caleb@make.co

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