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A Brief History of Selective Laser Sintering

Selective laser sintering, or SLS, was developed in the 1980s by engineers in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. This Prezi provides an overview of the birth and commercialization of SLS at UT Austin.

on 14 August 2013

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Transcript of A Brief History of Selective Laser Sintering

UT Austin student Carl Deckard wants to find a quick way to produce prototypes for manufacturing.
Use a laser to melt particles of powder together to create a
3-D object.
Under the guidance of mechanical engineering professor Joe Beaman, Deckard builds the first selective laser sintering (SLS) machine, which they eventually name Betsy. Betsy produces manufacturing prototypes by sintering, or melting, powder layer by layer.
The University of Texas System files
the first SLS-related patent based
on Deckard’s inventions.
Deckard and fellow graduate student of Beaman’s Paul Forderhase (left) build a second SLS machine, called Bambi. Bambi serves the department for many years.
Image courtesy of Google patent search
Deckard, Beaman and a few partners form
the first SLS company (Nova Automation),
which eventually becomes DTM.
DTM became the first student- and
faculty-led startup at UT Austin.
UT Austin faculty, led by professor Marcus Harris, organize the first Solid Freeform and Additive Manufacturing Symposium. The SFF Symposium continues today as the leading academic symposium on additive manufacturing.
Mechanical engineering professor
David Bourell presents at the
2011 SFF Symposium awards banquet.
SLS and other layered manufacturing processes begin to be commonly used in the production of molds, prototypes and parts that need to be made from a strong, durable material. It is widely used in the aerospace and medical device industries.
UT Austin faculty members establish the
Advanced Manufacturing Center in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
In its 2012 report, Wohlers estimates
that by 2015, the sale of additive manufacturing products and services will reach billions
of dollars.
Mechanical engineering associate professor Carolyn Seepersad (center, back row) and others are teaching additive manufacturing courses.
In one senior-level design course, students design an object using
3-D modeling software and build the product using SLS.
Neptune uses SLS to transform nylon powders into
a hard but elastic prosthetic foot.
SLS techniques continue to be used in the manufacturing of parts and molds for products in various industries in order to streamline production and development.
In its annual report, Wohlers Associates, Inc., an additive manufacturing consulting firm, estimates the worldwide market for SLS is $67 million.
One of the first objects
Deckard created using SLS.
Diagrams from the 1986
patent showing parts of the
SLS mechanism and process.
Deckard's and Beaman's company, DTM, launches its first line of commercially successful SLS machines, called the SinterStation.
Learn more about the history of SLS:
1987 newspaper
clipping about
SLS at UT Austin.

The center’s members — Joe Beaman, Carolyn Seepersad, Dave Bourell, Rick Neptune and others — educate and conduct research that further
SLS applications.
Professor Rick Neptune begins using SLS to create custom-fit prosthetics for U.S. veterans.
Full transcript