The SLS technology (Selective Laser Sintering), invented by Carl Deckard (Texas University) in 1984, was originally developed by his company, DTM corp. and later refined by 3D Systems ®, which bought the company DTM in 2001.
In the SLS process, microscopic particles of plastic (Nylon) are exposed to a high-power laser that melts them together to form a solid three-dimensional object. The powder is initially released on a platform to create a layer of about 0.1 mm. and then is sinterized by the laser forming a compact layer. The non-sintered powders on the floor constitute the support for the subsequent layers, up to the full realization of the object.
At the end of processing the object is removed and separated from non-sintered powders.
The SLS technology can be used for both aesthetic (with high levels of finish) and functional prototypes.
The particular sintering technology allows the use of different materials, usually mixed with nylon PA12, with different characteristics of strength, elasticity, resistance to high temperatures.