• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Strap head for tripod? (1 Viewer)


Forum member
Moin Hans,

I wonder if stereolitography dating from the mid 80ies using a liquid polymer hardening with selectively applied UV-rays was producing less anisotropic properties. Anyway, the parts at the time were quite brittle and extremely expensive.

Before I bought my own FDM printer ("Wurstdrucker" ... 'sausage printer', because it extrudes a long string of material and shapes it into the desired object ;-), I ordered SLS ('selective laser sintering' or something like that) printed Nylon parts from services such as Shapeways and Meltwerk.

These parts are pretty much isotropic and fairly strong. They are also more flexible than the PLA and PETG parts I print on my FDM machine, but SLS also works for a wide range of other materials. Even metals, though shapeways warns that the properties of the final material are more comparable to porcelain than to traditional metal parts.

With regard to pricing, FDM printing on a low-end customer machine is cheaper than professional SLS print services using industry-grade printers by a factor of maybe 20 - 80 for PLA, but as you can imagine, you have to make compromises on the low-end machine, and can't ever match the precision and quality of the industry-grade printers.

There are really cheap "resin" 3D printers which give great resolution for small objects printed in resin, but it seems they are mostly used for decorative miniatures and hardly ever for functional parts. I'd love to toy around with the technology, but it involves handling some not entirely hazard-free chemicals, and that's not really my idea of "fun in my spare time".



Hans Weigum

Well-known member
Moin Hans,

Hallo Henning

Thanks for answering me more in detail. An other interesting near additive manufacturing technology I was dealing with years ago was Metal Injection Moulding. A process with which my then employer experimented (but remaining only technologically successful) to mass produce bone screws out of austenitic steel.

Best regards


Users who are viewing this thread