Powder Bed Fusion based additive manufacturing of polymers –
potentials and limits
Additive manufacturing (AM) based on Powder Bed Fusion techniques started in 1986, the year in which the so-called “Selective Laser Sintering” (SLS) process was officially invented at the University of Texas. While at the beginning, SLS parts were not more than demonstrators, they are nowadays used as structural components in various applications e.g. sports and medical equipment, automotive industry, mechanical engineering parts etc. The AM boom of the recent years has been leading to a technological jump in SLS machines and powders. It has also led to alternative processes (“Multi-Jet Fusion”, “ThermoMelt”) with new potentials and old challenges.