SLS and Rapid Proto concept....
May 17, 2010 09:46AM
Hello there, I have been following work on the Hydra-MMM project. Congratulations to those who helped get the concept built and running, it looks pretty incredible compared to everything else I have seen built in the home fabrication world.

I am looking at building a concept Selective Laser Sintering printer, which I think has been looked at in the past by some other RepRap community members, but was never fully tested that I can tell. While looking for something with a larger print area, and ability to handle prints without the use of supports, I ran across the CandyFab project.

The CandyFab system is extremely close to what I am wanting to achieve, but can't handle the resolution or materials I would like. I wish to build a model that can closely compete with the commercial prototyping systems that Z-Corp and 3DSystems have been making for years using the SLS method. And plan to do so by building some form of a home made CO2 Laser to drive it.

The CandyFab team doesn't have nearly as large a following or support and knowledge base as the RepRap community. This is one of the things that impresses me the most about RepRap. And the new Hydra printer, is also really close to possibly handling the type of hardware I would need to build for this project.

So, my question is, how difficult do you think it would be to tailor the firmware built for Mendel, or Hydra to manage hardware similiar to the CandyFab setup, and driven by a CO2 laser? Just brain storming here, so any potential negative or positive flags that come to mind are what I am looking for.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

For those unfamiliar with SLS, here is a nice little explanation from 3DSystems:
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