SLS sintering machine

SLS sintering machine

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Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: SLS sintering machine. SLS (selective laser sintering) techniques are a type of sintering. Sintering involves heating a powder at a temperature below its melting point until the particles of the powder adhere to each other to form a solid object. This is the spreading part of the process, where the spreader (left) is laying down a new layer of powder. In this case, a nylon polyamide powder was used, and the heat was applied with a laser beam. The use of a laser beam, and a computer to guide the sintering process, allows complex 3D structures to be produced from the fusing of successive layers of powder. Photographed in the UK.

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