We, Team LaserX are a group of final year Mechanical Engineering students from Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore who are extremely passionate about 3D Printing and related technologies with a long-term goal of working towards making 3D printing affordable and accessible to the average householder.
What is the background of our work?
We all have heard about 3D printing and its potential to alter the manufacturing landscape in the near future. But did you know that there are various technologies in 3D printing and the most common form that is seen is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) which has its own set of pros and cons?
The 3D printing technology called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) takes it up a notch with laser sintering a powdered material at select points and adding powder layer by layer to obtain the final product.
Here is a link if you want to know more about SLS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E5MfBAV_tA
What are we building and why?
We are building a low-cost SLS 3D printer that will not only be more affordable but also be able to compete in quality with commercially available SLS printers that cost anywhere between 10-60 lakhs (INR).
So if you are a student or a DIY enthusiast who needs help with 3D printing a prototype of your concept (or) you are a startup who would like to have in-house 3D printing capabilities but acquiring a 3D printer might be too costly, Team Laser X is who you want to be supporting!
So why SLS and not FDM?
- In SLS, the material is consumed, rather than wasted which makes it more preferable than conventional machining processes.
- Using SLS, objects with complex designs and interlocks, high detailed enclosed parts can be easily printed.
- In contrast to FDM printers, SLS printers are known for consistently producing objects with high resolution.
- This printer has a reduced effect on the environment as it avoids the use of tools, dies, molds, coupled with reduced material wastage.
- Moreover, the use of lasers means that there is a decrease in physical load on the model while printing. Due to this, a smoother surface finish can be obtained.
- During the printing, no additional support is required as the powder itself acts as support material. Therefore, allowing for free-floating components within the build volume.
The highest donor will get to name our first prototype and the top 3 donors will receive a 3D printed model from our machine. So let's get rolling and printing!