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Info on Selective Laser Sintering processes for plastic and metal RP parts

Printing in Metal

Comment: If you have some quantity, printing directly in metal has similar costs to casting from ZCorp models. And for some types of model, metal printing allows things that are impossible with Zcast. If a semi-metallic material could be possible, it might also be worth taking a look at Solid Concepts or another SLS bureau. There's an aluminum-filled plastic material (they call it “alumide”) which isn't bad looking, and SLS allows very free geometry. There's a bunch about all this on my site (http://bathsheba.com). [Bathsheba Grossman - 2005-11-17] There's surprisingly little buzz on the subject, considering how neat it is. Prometal can print 24K gold too, though still with not-very-good resolution. [Bathsheba Grossman - 2005-11-19]
Comment: Probably using EOS machines? Seems they can print (sinter) just about any metal - titanium, stainless, gold, etc. I think the resolution will keep getting better, and soon that's going to be the preferred solution for complex jewelry pieces. Probably a “service bureau” type solution, as the machines are hella expensive and I imagine you need to keep the working envelope filled with gold powder. [Mitch Heynick - 2005-11-19]
Comment: Prometal is different from Eos in that it uses a three-stage process - build, then sinter, then infiltrate to fill in porosity - rather than the single-stage sinter to full density. The Prometal method has more moving parts, and is therefore more difficult to dial in for additional metals, and it has a fragility bottleneck when the green part is handled before sintering. On the other hand, it has the advantage of being free from shrinkage and thermal-stress distortion. I've not had the chance to try any of the Eosint processes, so I can't compare them in terms of results. Anyway, there's an article about direct-metal here which I thought was interesting: http://www.deskeng.com/Articles/Resource-Guide/Direct-Metal-Comes-on-Strong-20050831591.html [Bathsheba Grossman - 2005-11-21]
rhino/slsinfo.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/14 (external edit)