All forms of 3D printing are becoming increasingly accessible, even bioprinting, as Ourobotics has demonstrated with their open source bioprinter. And, in the past two years, a slew of businesses started announcing developments surrounding low-cost selective laser sintering (SLS) machines. Among them was Switzerland-based Sintratec who, after a successful crowdfunding campaign, has already fulfilled their Indiegogo backers. And, now, Sintratec is ready to offer their SLS 3D printer to the general public.
Available now on their website, the Sintratec Kit can be purchased for €4,999, merely a fraction of the price of industrial SLS systems. With feedback from their community of backers, Sintratec claims that their assembly instructions and software have been improved, as has their hardware. The Kit can be built in two minutes by its manufacturers, but the startup suggests that it might take about four days to build it and get it up and operating.
Once built and connected to a computer via USB, the system has a build volume of 11 x 11 x 11 cm (about 4.3″ x 4.3″ x 4.3″) in which to 3D print objects from black nylon (PA12) with 100 to 150 microns layer thicknesses. Without the need for support structures, necessary with non-powderbed 3D printing technologies, SLS can create smooth, precision parts with complex, internal geometries.
If the machine works well, the cost may very well be worth it, particularly given the hundred-thousand-dollar price tags of industrial systems. The Sintratec Kit even compares well to other similarly low-priced SLS printers on or heading to market, like Sharebot’s SnowWhite and the Lisa from Sinterit. The SLS race is only beginning to heat up, but, given the fact that Prodways has its own brand of low-cost SLS systems in the works, I can say that there is still plenty to come, including Sintratec’s fully-assembled S1 machine. For a great breakdown of affordable SLS 3D printers, check out Davide’s coverage of Euromold, where three of these manufacturers were all on display.