Though it is perhaps best known for its flagship 3D printing systems—some of the most cost-accessible selective laser sintering (SLS) machines on the market—Polish company Sinterit is much more than a printer provider. The company, which has customers across a wide range of industries, has taken a holistic approach to its product offering, bringing to market an entire ecosystem for SLS 3D printing.
As part of Sinterit’s overarching mission to prioritize customer experience (without compromising quality, of course), the company has a suite of products that cover 3D printing, materials handling, part removal and cleaning, as well as a comprehensive workflow software solution. Though it’s rare to get a full picture of a company’s product portfolio, it is sometimes necessary to understand the full value of the offering, like how a recipe is more than just the sum of its parts. Keep reading to understand how each of Sinterit’s products fits into the company’s bigger picture.
The SLS 3D printers
Let us begin in the most obvious place: the 3D printing hardware. Printers, of course, are at the center of Sinterit’s ecosystem. Anyone who has heard of Sinterit will also have heard of its Lisa 3D printer series, which today comprises the Sinterit Lisa, a high-precision benchtop SLS system, and the Sinterit Lisa Pro, a larger SLS system built for industrial quality prints.
Priced under $5,000, the Sinterit Lisa is one of the, if not the, most affordable SLS systems on the market today. Despite this, it still offers a high degree of precision and quality—which SLS technology is known for. Notably, the Sinterit Lisa is designed for plug-and-play and does not require a steep learning curve. This feature, along with others, has led to the system being adopted across many sectors, including automotive, architecture, healthcare, education and consumer goods.
The Sinterit Lisa Pro, for its part, was launched in 2018 and offers a cost-friendly solution for industrial-grade SLS 3D printing. We actually had the opportunity to see the technology up-close last year and, as you can read about in more detail here, were very impressed with what we saw. Though the system is at a higher price point than the Lisa (about $14,000), it is still by far one of the most affordable systems available today. Aside from a substantially larger print area, one of the Lisa Pro’s most notable features is a nitrogen chamber, which enables users to work with a much broader range of materials.
Powder management tools
Supporting its Lisa 3D printers, is Sinterit’s series of auxiliary hardware, which comprises dedicated powder tools, powder sieve and a vacuum cleaner. Used in combination, these provide users with a true end-to-end solution for sintered part production.
Working with powder is always tricky and can often result in a mess. To address this, Sinterit has launched a series of powder tools, which are designed to contain powder particles. The tools include a powder funnel for easily filling the the printer with powder; a trowel to quickly tamp the powder, ensuring uniform pressure distribution; an IO box to both guide powder into the printer and remove printed parts; a foldable tray for initial post-processing; and a service kit, filled with all the necessary tools and parts to keep your system up and running.
Another key product in the company’s powder management solution is the powder sieve, an automated system for sifting and refreshing used powder. Operators simply put the used powder tray into the powder sieve, and it will break apart lumps to get the most out out of leftover powder. This powder is then mixed with fresh powder and is ready for printing.
The Sinterit ATEX vacuum cleaner also plays an important role in powder recovery, by collecting and cleaning unsintered powder throughout the post-printing process. The dedicated vacuum system is designed to simplify the 3D printer cleaning process; in fact, Sinterit says it can have the Lisa or Lisa Pro system ready for a new print job in under 10 minutes. Powder collected using the vacuum can then be directly input into the powder sieve.
But what would 3D printer hardware be without software? An expensive paperweight, as the joke goes. Bringing Sinterit’s 3D printers to life is its end-to-end Sinterit Studio 2019 software. The software guides users through each step of the printing process, from uploading models, to monitoring the print process, to finalizing the print job. The software also integrates powder management tools, so that users can keep track of how much material they have left, as well as print bed arrangement and slicing features.
Sinterit has actually introduced four versions of its software program to accommodate the use of different materials. The first, Sinterit Studio, is designed for users working with basic powders, including PA12 Smooth, PA11 Onyx, Flexa Grey and Flexa Black. Sinterit Studio Open adds to that, enabling users to print some third party materials and customize print settings. With Sinterit Studio Profile, users can easily print with Sinterit Flexa Soft, Flexa Bright and TPE. Finally, with Sinterit Studio Advanced, users have full access to printing parameters and profiles for all of Sinterit’s powders. This variety of options allows different types of users to make the most from their Lisa or Lisa Pro system. For instance, while a researcher may require full access to printing parameters to develop a new material, a product developer may benefit from preconfigured settings.
Last but certainly not least are Sinterit’s two finishing systems, the Sandblaster and Sandblaster XL. Both solutions use a dry abrasive material (glass beads) and compressed air to clean, polish and finish SLS prints.
The compact Sandblaster is a manual system, while the Sandblaster XL (double the size) integrates both a handheld blaster and fixed nozzle. Users can also control the air pressure of the large-format system using an ergonomic pedal. Overall, the Sandblaster systems enable Sinterit Lisa users to quickly and efficiently clean and polish their printed parts.
An SLS solution
Sinterit’s entire ecosystem, comprising 3D printing, software, powder management tools and post-processing, aims to make SLS 3D printing more accessible—both in terms of cost and usability. In addition to its suite of products, which are distributed globally, Sinterit also offers production services within Europe and has an experienced R&D team, which can help customers to realize their SLS goals.
This article was created in collaboration with Sinterit.