Laser-induced sintering of powders has become prevalent in a number of Solid Freeform Fabrication technologies such as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), which is used to produce nearly solid parts from initially-porous powder via laser irradiation. In this paper, a model is presented which can be used to predict the shape and general features of consolidated heat affected zones produced by laser-induced, non-isothermal sintering of polymer powder. Comparisons between experimental results and predictions are made, and the model is used to investigate the influence of various thermal processing parameters on the sintering operation. The model is then extended to simulate the manufacture of a simple multiple layer part which is produced in a manner similar to SLS.

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