Finite Element Analysis of Temperature and Density Distributions in Selective Laser Sintering Process


Article Preview

In the selective laser sintering (SLS) manufacturing technique a pre-heated layer of material powder undergoes a laser radiation in a selective way to produce three dimensional metallic or polymeric solid parts. Here, we consider sintering of polymer powder. The phase transformation in this process involves the material heat transfer which is strongly affected by the material sintering phenomena. A transient three dimensional finite element model is developed to simulate the phase transformation during the selective laser sintering process. This model takes into account the heat transfer in the material (powder and solid), the sintering and the transient nature of this process. The numerical simulation of the set of equations, describing the problem, is made possible by means of the commercial finite element software Abaqus. A bi-level structure integration procedure is chosen, in which the density is integrated at the outer level and the heat equation is integrated in the inner level. After successfully computing the integration of the density, a material Jacobian representing the thermal phenomena is computed and supplemented the Abaqus Code via an implicit user subroutine material. Results for temperature and density distribution, using a polycarbonate powder, are presented and discussed.



Edited by:

Prof. Andreas Öchsner and José Grácio




L. Dong et al., "Finite Element Analysis of Temperature and Density Distributions in Selective Laser Sintering Process", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 553, pp. 75-80, 2007

Online since:

August 2007




[1] Xue Yan, P. Gu: Computer-Aided Design Vol. 28 (1996), p.307.

[2] J.C. Nelson: Selective laser sintering: A definition of the process and an empirical sintering model (The University of Texas at Austin, 1993).

[3] A.L. Papadatos: Computer simulation and dynamic control of the selective laser sintering process (A Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of Clemson University, August 1998).

[4] A.L. Papadatos, S. Ahzi, C.R. Dechard, F.W. Paul: the proceedings of Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (1997), p.709.

[5] J.C. Nelson, S. Xue, J.W. Barlow, J.J. Beaman, H.L. Marcus, D.L. Bourell: Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. Vol. 32 (1993), p.2305.

[6] M.M. Sun: Physical modelling of the selective laser sintering process (The University of Texas at Austin, 1991).

[7] M.M. Sun, J.J. Beaman: Solid Freeform Fabrication Proceedings (1991), p.102.

[8] P.F. Jacobs: Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing - Fundamentals in stereolithography (McGraw-Hill, Inc., Dearborn, MI, 1992).

[9] Sakae Yagi, Daizo Kuni: American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal Vol. 3 (1957), p.373.

[10] W.H. McAdams: Heat Transmission (New York, 1954).

[11] U. Gaur, S.F. Lau, B. Wunderlich: J Phys Chem Ref Data Vol. 12 (1983), p.93.

[12] T.H.C. Childs, M. Berzins, G.R. Ryder, A. Tontowi: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Vol. 213B (1999), p.333.