Visual representation models.
Functional and tough prototypes.
Cast metal parts (by use of wax).
Short run and soft tooling.
Numerous materials can be used like polycarbonate(PC), polyvinil chloride (PVC), nylon(PA), croning sand for building sandcasting cores, metal and investment casting wax; virtually any materials that have decreased viscosity upon heating can potentially be used.
Its parts do not require any post-curing except when ceramics are used.
Production, from powder to part, is generally a same day process.
There is no need to create a structure to support overhanging geometry.
This saves time during creation of the part, as well as after you remove it from the machine.
Its advanced software allows concurrent slicing of the part geometry files while processing the object is taking place.
During solidification, it may happen that on the borderline additional powder is hardening. This results in a raw appearance of the part surface.
Necessity to provide the process chamber continuously with nitrogen to assure safe material sintering (not for EOS).
Toxic gases emitted from the fusing process have to be handled carefully (especially with PVC).
The roughness is most visible when parts contain gradual sloping surfaces and a stair step effect created by the layer-by-layer process, becomes increasingly visible.
DTM Corp., USA:Sinterstation 2000
EOS, Germany: Eosint Plastic, Metal, Sand.