FAQ

What is the current status of the project ?

Last update – 13/06/2024

First of all – ORDERS ARE OPEN! You can now order a complete set of parts to build your Inova SLS printer. Two batches are currently open. One for delivery in September ’24, the other in October ’24. Check out our store for all the details.

Secondly – Inova is becoming open source as promised. We’ve started with the hardware, which means that:

  • full BOMs
  • schematics for the GATE1 and ZERO1 expansion boards
  • the complete Live! as well as a downloadable 3D model of the Inova printer

are now available in the members section.

We have also done most of the FW and SW pre-publishing activities. So, the SLS4All Compact software package will also be released very soon.

How can I support the project?

You can donate to support this project here.

What is SLS?

Selective Laser Sintering is one of the 3D printing methods, which was explored and patented in early 80’s. It utilizes laser beam to sinter powder materials layer by layer together. As compared to FDM/FFF technology it is suitable mainly for the functional parts, like prototypes or small series end products. It is mainly given by the exceptional mechanical, chemical resistant and temp resistant features of the SLS printed parts.

Is the printer intended to print metals?

No, it is quite different discipline. This printer is about to print plastic polymers.

What are the estimated material costs of the build?

The cost of materials and components is around USD 3,000 excl. VAT, plus other costs such as machine costs, labour costs, etc.

Which type of laser is used in SLS4All?

It is the laser diode source emitting the laser beam within the blue spectrum (wavelength 450nm). We have tested two laser modules – with optical power of 5W and 10W.

What is the spot size and max. scanning speed?

It is approx. 250 microns for 5W laser with average scanning speed around 1,650 mm/s. For 10W laser is approx. 350 microns with average scanning speed around 2,800 mm/s.

Does it use f-theta lens?

No, it doesn’t. It uses simple optic lenses. At this moment Keplerian telescope optical arrangement is in place.

What is the desired effective print volume?

At this stage it is 150x150x180mm. Total print chamber volume is 177x177x200mm.

What material is being used for printing?

It is the Nylon PA12 at this moment. Flex TPU is planned as the next one.

What is the common layer height?

100 microns

Is the powder toxic?

No, it is not. There are no health-risks but safety glasses, gloves and respirator are recommended.

How much does the powder material costs?

Branded powders start at 100USD per Kg. Unbranded quality powders directly from manufactures at Alibaba start at about 55 USD per Kg (excl. shipping).

What kind of recoating mechanism is in place?

I started with counter rotating roller but moved to flat-bottom blade later.

Does printer use active heating?

Yes, it has 14 thermo regulation loops in total. Five for powder chamber, the same for print chamber and four for surface heating control.

What firmware does the printer use?

Highly modified version of the Klipper Firmware running on BigTreeTech board SKR 1.4 Turbo and Raspberry Pi 4B (2GB RAM at this moment). Due to problems with the Raspberry Pi availability we have moved to the Radxa Rock Pi 4B, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC. Unfortunately it has annoying long-term stability issues. We therefore switched to the Raspberry Pi5 as soon as it was available.

What control SW does the printer use?

It is our own proprietary SW implemented as the web-based app.

Which 3D file formats are supported?

At this moment the STL, 3MF and OBJ formats are supported.

What is the connectivity of the printer?

It can be connected via ethernet or wifi. USB is also ready to use.

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