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Mechanical Characterization of Additive Manufacturing Processes
Objectives: To compare two of the most popular rapid prototyping processes of Stereolithography (SLA) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) from a product-based perspective, to help customers analyze them and make a choice between the two. Methods: This paper includes the qualitative testing of identical specimens created by SLA and SLS. The specimens are evaluated on the parameters of dimensional accuracy, tensile strength, water absorption, surface roughness, density, Vickers hardness and microscopic defect structure. The outcome of this study aims at helping people to understand SLS and SLA better in terms of the products they create so that it becomes easier for users to make a choice between the two. It also aims at highlighting the above mentioned statistical information about SLA and SLS so that they may be improvised and enhanced in the future. Findings: Based on the tests conducted, it was confirmed that the SLA specimens were better than the SLS specimens in the tensile strength, water absorption, surface roughness and density tests. The SLS specimens outperformed the SLA specimens in the dimensional accuracy and Vickers hardness tests. Thus it was concluded that the SLA specimens exhibited better mechanical and physical characteristics than the SLS specimens.
Additive Manufacturing, Material Properties, Mechanical Characterization, Rapid Prototyping, SLA, SLS.
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