SLSTM Prototypes From Nylon
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Many rapid prototypmg materials and processes produce parts which have relatively low stiffness, strength, and ductility. While such parts are useful for visualization, they have limited value where functional features are necessary or where application testing is required. In order to satisfy these more demanding requirements, rapid prototyping materials which offer part performance representative of molded plastics are required. DTM has developed and commercialized nylon-based materials (LN-4010 and LNF-5000) for the SLS process which produce strong, durable parts without the use of constraint or support structures. In order to produce dimensionally accurate SLS nylon parts, careful control of the thermal environment is required during the entire process cycle. In this paper, the thermal control elements necessary to achieve this goal are described. Background information concerning SLS nylon part performance and material process behavior is also provided.