Design Rules for Selective Laser Sintering

Photo of Tyler Govett, Kevin Kim, Michael Lundin, Daniel Pinero Students: Tyler Govett, Kevin Kim, Michael Lundin, Daniel Pinero

Sponsor: Harvest Technologies

Date: Spring 2012

The requirements of the project are to determine the minimum viable dimensions and tolerances for a variety of physical features, includeing pins, walls, holes, gaps, gears, and shafts. Test parts must compare horizontal and vertical build orientations. The parts cannot exceed the dimensions of the build chamber, which are approximately 12" x 12" x 18" in size. Nylon 12 powder must be used in part production.

Since SLS is such an emerging technology and the industry is relatively small, there are no industry standards for correct design practices. The purpose of the design team's project is to conduct a set of experiments to determine the tolerances and specifications for common design features for SLS parts.

Based on the manufactured parts, the team developed a set of guidelines for use during the detailed design phase to reduce production errors. The guidelines contain pictures and tables of each part as well as a detailed explanation of individual part results. The pictures show an example of part condition, defined as whether the parts are successfully manufactured or failed to form a designed geometry. A pass/fail table provides a visual representation of the results of each part, using green, yellow, and red colors to represent pass, neutral, and fail conditions of part features.

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