Stereolithography Laser Sintering, SLA Rapid Prototyping

By: Star Prototype China  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Silicone Rubber, Selective Laser Sintering, Plastic Powder

There is now a huge range of SLA materials with very good mechanical properties.  Star-Prototype uses DSM Somos 14120 which closely simulates ABS thermoplastic.  Star-Prototype mostly uses SLA models as Master Patterns to make silicone rubber moulds for vacuum casting of Polyurethane.

Selective Laser Sintering was commercially developed in the mid 1980′s in Texas, although a similar process dates to 1979.  It too is a laminated manufacturing process, but uses a much higher power laser to sinter plastic powder together to form a 3D prototype.  The most typical material used is Polyamide/Nylon.  It is also possible to have glass filled Nylon.  Historically it was considered that SLS parts were more durable than SLA, but as SLA materials improve, this gap is narrowing.  SLS is also considered quite wasteful as up to 30% of all non-converted powder removed so as to refresh the powder stock.  SLA has almost no material waste.

Keywords: Plastic Powder, Rubber Moulds, Selective Laser Sintering, Silicone Rubber,

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Other products and services from Star Prototype China


Rapid Prototyping Services

When I got on the plane in London on 15th July 2005 to travel to China to set up Star Prototype, I knew that I was entering a new era in my life, and I knew I faced great challenges building a business in China. Besides more traditional methods to inspect our components, we’ve also added an Optical Emission Spectrometer which is used to positively identify metals and an EASSON Vision Measurement Machine.


Rapid Protoyping in China

Star Prototype was the first company based in China to offer photorealistic prototypes that are colored and textured in-mould. CNC machining of prototypes allows us to deliver prototypes in a huge range of plastics, metals, and modeling boards. We can then use a CNC or SLA master model to make a silicone rubber mould and cast up to 20 off polyurethane parts. Full automotive quality and fine detailing can be achieved.


Polyurethane Casting

Once cured we split the silicone rubber mould and we can use it to cast up to 20 PU parts per silicone mould. Usually we make a master model by SL and then apply whatever surface finish is needed to the master model. To produce high gloss clear parts we will normally use a CNC machined and polished Acrylic master model. We then pour liquid silicone rubber around the master model in casting box.