Evaluation of Processing Variables in Large Area Polymer Sintering of Single Layer Components

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



As the additive manufacturing (AM) industry continues to boom, the material palette continues to grow. However, the materials applicable to selective laser sintering (SLS) remains limited. Typically, the scanning laser beam heats each location for milliseconds at a time with a very high heating flux followed by quick cooling. This can create large temperature gradients and high local temperatures. Many polymers will degrade or fail to densify under these conditions. Due to the economic constraints for point processing, little work has been done to evaluate the sintering process with lower intensities, longer exposure times and larger areas than are typical with conventional SLS. We will report on a new method for simultaneously heating large areas with spatially-controlled heat flux. A demonstration system and test material is presented and characterized. It is then used to evaluate the relationships between heating rates, exposure time, and resulting sintering levels for traditional Nylon 12 powders in single layer parts.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

2016 Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, p. 793-807