Laser Sintering Printers
A third method limited mainly to large scale manufacturing is laser sintering. In this case the construction material is a specially synthesized powder that melts when illuminated by a sufficiently powerful laser beam. The powder is deposited on the building surface or the previous layer in preparation for constructing the new layer. Typically the laser is scanned quickly over the parts of the layer that are to become part of the object, in a manner similar to that described for resin-based printers. While this method is suitable to rapid construction of a large number of objects, the component and operating costs put this printer technology out of reach for all but the largest manufacturers.