SLS 3D printing becomes more accessible as Autodesk Netfabb adds support for Sinterit Lisa

Jun 1, 2017 | By David

As 3D printing technology grows in popularity and becomes more accessible, non-professional hobbyists and makers are seeing their range of options gradually expand. However, FDM machines still remain the standard, if not the only type of 3D printer they can use in their own home. That could soon be changing, though, as Autodesk’s popular Netfabb 3D printing software has just added support for Sinterit’s Lisa 3D printer, one of the most affordable desktop SLS machines on the market.

Autodesk has been a leader in 3D design solutions for many years, and its Netfabb software, acquired in 2015, has been a huge hit, enabling those with limited practical manufacturing expertise to easily prepare their 3D CAD models for printing. Adding Netfabb support for the Sinterit Lisa will go a long way towards making laser sintering techniques a viable alternative for amateur 3D printing enthusiasts and small businesses.

Lisa users will now be able to operate their 3D printer in Netfabb’s Standard, Premium, or Ultimate levels.

For Lisa users, any extra complexities and the need to learn new software applications in order to get to grips with SLS methods will be eliminated with the addition of Netfabb support. SLS 3D printing is particularly advantageous because of the extra detail it offers for print jobs, in addition to the huge advantage of printing with metals. Shapes with cavities or overhangs, that would necessitate the use of support structures with FDM printing, can be printed just as easily as any other shape. It also allows several different objects to be produced simultaneously.

Sinterit was founded in 2014 by ex-Google employees, with a mission to bring high-quality SLS machines to the market at a low cost. The Sinterit Lisa was at the forefront of bringing SLS to the hobbyist or small business owner, as its $15,000 price point is significantly less than the $100,000 average price for other machines. It can also fit easily on a desktop.

Several recent upgrades to the Lisa have made it an even more appealing solution to novice and expert 3D printer users alike. It now boasts automatic levelling of the powder bed, along with automatic setting of bed height. Removing powder and reusing it is now much easier too, thanks to a specially designed sieve that has been added to the system.

Duann Scott, Additive Manufacturing and Composites Strategist at Autodesk, is enthusiastic about his company’s own role in increasing the availability of SLS 3D printing technology. “The SLS process provides design freedom and material options that enable high quality, end-use parts not possible with other additive, or traditional manufacturing techniques, and Sinterit is democratizing access to this technology with a massive reduction in price without compromising on part quality,” he says. 

”Autodesk Netfabb gives Sinterit users access to industrial-grade optimization for the SLS process, at the part, build packing, and parameter level to ensure professional results from the desktop SLS 3D Printer. This combination of affordable, professional software and hardware will open up the use cases for polymer additive manufacturing.”

Posted in 3D Software

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