Sintratec is a Swiss company that produces SLS-style 3D printers and now they’ve developed a very interesting way to 3D print flexible objects.
The company launched in 2014 with a crowdfunding campaign for their “Sintratec Kit”, a very low-cost option for powder-based 3D plastic printing. Since then they’ve launched the S1, a more powerful unit.
We took a look at their equipment at FormNext and discovered they're developing a new flexible powder to complement their standard nylon powders that can be used to 3D print strong objects, which is expected to be released in mid 2017.
Printing flexible objects in powder isn’t a new thing; it’s been done by others. But there is something Sintratec is on to that I hadn’t seen before: variable flexibility.
Apparently the company has discovered a way to vary the degree of flexibility in an object by adjusting the print settings. These changes affect the molecular attachments. By changing the laser settings, they can predictably make the print more or less flexible.
It seems there is a lot more than meets the eye when 3D printing in powder; there are many discoveries yet to be made.