In Pictures: 3D printing - How does it really work?

Here are the nine most common 3D printer technologies

Technology No. 5: SLS What it is: Selective Laser Sintering

Inventors: Dr. Carl Deckard and Dr. Joe Beaman developed and patented at the University of Texas at Austin. Startup company DTM, purchased by 3D Systems in 2001

Year: Mid-1980s

Materials: Powder materials including polymers such as nylon (neat, glass-filled, other fillers); polystyrene; metals (steel, titanium, alloy mixtures); composites; green sand

Process: High-powered laser fuses small powdered particles into three-dimensional objects. Cross sections are scanned, then layers are fused together. Base lowers as each new layer is added.

Price Range: Up to $250,000

Systems Sold by: EOS and 3D Systems

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