Laser sintering is a well know technology for 3D printing. A powder polyamide is sintered layer-by-layer using a laser. The result is a 3D object completely functional with better physical properties than the corresponding injection-molded version of it. It is not a technique for fabricating the devices themselves, but auxiliary pieces or holders where the devices may be encased.
The way that the system works is by applying a thin layer of the polyamide in powder form to the building platform. This power is thin enough to allow a layer thickness of 0.1mm. A computer generated file drive the head of a powerful laser spot that draws the content of that file onto the polyamide powder. The platform is then lowered in an amount of 0.1mm and the next layer of powder is deposited. The laser writing head starts over with the next drawing within the file. This is repeated till the end of the job. The manufactured objects are then extracted from the building platform and sanded to get a powder free surface of them. The polyamide available is PA2200 (Nylon-12). It offers good mechanical and temperature properties, abrasion resistance. It withstands solvents and certain acids.
Free shape objects, objects within objects and articulated objects can be obtained in one forming process.