SLS 3D Printers: professional vs industrial?
SLS 3D Printing is part of those additive manufacturing technologies that raise attention for several reasons. The freedom of creation and accuracy in every detail of the 3D printed part are a few of them.
AGH University of Science and Technology recently compares two types of SLS 3D Printing technologies that we found interesting to share. The manufacturing department of the Poland-based university leverages several types of SLS 3D Printers EOS, Zcorp and Sinterit. In order to meet their additive manufacturing needs, the team of researchers led by Piotr Dudek adjunct professor at AGH University of Science and Technology, recently analyzed the differences between different types of SLS 3D Printing system. They chose EOS SLS 3D Printer and Sinterit Lisa for this purpose.
“We are using the big EOS SLS 3D printer for a long time and we wanted to compare it with Sinterit Lisa, check the possibilities of it -says Piotr Dudek. In SLS technology every detail counts. The temperature of the printing chamber, powder distribution system, heating or laser moving mechanism are very precise and important features. We wanted to test if Sinterit’s device is the valuable solution.” – adds Dudek.
Piotr Dudek’s team outlines the impressive print volume as the main advantage of EOS SLS 3D Printer. As they said, big parts can be printed at once using big size 3D Printing systems such as EOS.
Speaking of Sinterit Lisa, the first advantage put forward is the gantry system of the 3D printer that can be pre-calibrated, which means that after taking it out of the box, the user will not need to spend days on adjustments.
As far as materials are concerned, AGH University puts forward the fact that, as a university, it is not economical for them to print parts separately on a big printer. Surprisingly, the use of materials for a small SLS 3D Printer turns out to be a cheaper solution to print a lot of different models for a large number of students. Indeed, according to the researchers, it is possible to use as little as one or two liters of the powder to start printing.
Piotr Dudek’s team points out some interesting points regarding small SLS 3D Printing systems but their comparison also shows some limitations. Small SLS 3D Printing systems are definitely less expensive than bigger SLS machines but their price comes with a reason. The researchers only pointed out the impressive printing volume as the main advantage of big SLS printers but did not compare the quality of two parts that have been printed on both types of systems, nor the printing speed of each system.
Moreover, it goes without saying that purchasing an industrial 3D printing system is a high-risk investment compared to a small SLS 3D Printing system but the profitability that the user expects and the way he will use it are a few reasons that can justify each purchase.
So, in our opinion, comparing two types of SLS 3D Printing systems requires well-defined comparison criteria in the first place…and criteria used by AGH University of Science and Technology researchers are not enough to determine the performance of each technology.
If you use both a big SLS 3D Printing system and a small 3D Printing system, feel free to share your point of view regarding the manufacturing process and the printing quality of each system.
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