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Open SLS is a selective laser sintering project under active development in Dr.
Recently, Sls project lab published our work using OpenSLS for freeform fabrication using nylon and polycaprolactone. The latest developments to the project can be found on our github pagewhich includes all of our design files, firmware, and software toolchain.
Introduction OpenSLS print emerging from the build chamber. OpenSLS is a platform for exploring the selective laser sintering process and a functioning prototype SLS 3D printer capable of fabricating objects in a variety of materials.
An overview of this project and the research in which it will be used can be found here. This project is unique in that it appropriates existing, affordable laser hardware, namely laser cutters, for use as in the SLS process. This changed the nature of the Sls project from one of procurement ie, where to find a sufficiently powerful laser and optics to one of integration, modular hardware design, and material development.
By adapting commercial and widely available laser cutters for this process, the barrier to entry for this technology can be lowered. This is a very dangerous process. Much can go wrong. If you decide to explore this technology, please exercise extreme caution: Laser Safety The lasers used in laser cutters are incredibly powerful-- literally tens of thousands of times more powerful than the pocket laser pointers that already bear a eye-safety warning label.
This is a whole other class of laser safety. Your eyes are no longer the only thing at risk. In addition to the danger of the laser radiation, the gas tube that emits the laser is driven by a high voltage power supply with voltages upwards of 30kV.
Extreme care should be taken when working on the laser cutter electronics as the high voltage supply holds charge for some time after the laser cutter is powered down.
Sam Goldwasser has prepared an excellent page on laser safetyincluding an extensive section on DIY lasers and the safety challenges there-in. Please read through it before attempting any of the work described here. Extreme care should be taken when handling powdered materials. Static shocks are in some cases enough energy to ignite clouds of dust, causing an explosion.
Additionally, this first prototype does not incorporate inert-gas shielding of the powder-laser interface, which, for some materials, could be very dangerous, especially if any powder becomes airborne.
Process Overview Laser-based additive manufacturing technologies are a little different from the more familiar melt-extrusion techniques. Of chief interest is the flexibiity that comes with using a powdered feedstock. Many non-thermodecomposing materials have the potential for compatibility with the laser-forming processes.
Terminology The term SLS is used often broadly to describe a number of laser-forming processes. It is sometime distinguished from selective laser-melting SLM because there is a clear difference between the two solidification methods.
Laser-melting involves fully melting the powdered material to its liquid phase, which results in a fully-dense part. Laser-sintering relies on very high thermal gradients to liquify though not in all cases the surface of the powder particles, bonding to each other, but leaving small voids between the bonded particles.
In terms of bonding mechanisms, this distinction is important, but in terms of terminology, laser-sintering and laser-melting are often used somewhat interchangeably. The important point though is that the distinction between mechanisms is mainly material-dependent and based on particle size, geometry, packing structure, and thermal conductivity as well as the bed temperature, laser power, spot size, and atmosphere.
But the implications of the finer points of laser-forming terminology with respect to this project are interesting: Mechanics The process of laser-sintering begins with a very simple system: However, many factors influence how the laser energy is absorbed: The particle shape affects how the powder behaves at a macro scale: More angular particles give rise to transient, but stable packing structures and flow in more staggered, halting ways on the macro scale.
Flakes and more complex platelets can have both fluid flow properties in some cases, a degree of self-adhesion or self-entanglement, depending on the complexity of the form of the particles. These geometric factors combine with particle size to influence particle packing patterns, which in turn play a large role in how heat is transferred through the particle system at the site of sintering.
Heat transfer between bodies is proportional to both the magnitude of the temperature difference and the cross-sectional area between the bodies. Particle size, shape, and packing pattern determine the number and size of contact points between particles Gusarov et al, The more points of contact there are between particles, the better heat can flow through them.
In addition to influencing heat transfer through static powder, particle size and shape and distribution there-of affects how laser energy is transferred to the powder particles.Over 10, different parts in stock, both New and Used, OEM and Reproduction years of experience and + cars restored.
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