One of the limitations of commercially available metal additive manufacturing (AM) processes is the minimum feature size most processes can achieve. A proposed solution to bridge this gap is microscale selective laser sintering (μ-SLS). The advent of this process creates a need for models which are able to predict the structural properties of sintered parts. While there are currently a number of good SLS models, the majority of these models predict sintering as a melting process which is accurate for microparticles. However, when particles tend to the nanoscale, sintering becomes a diffusion process dominated by grain boundary and surface diffusion between particles. As such, this paper presents an approach to model sintering by tracking the diffusion between nanoparticles on a bed scale. Phase field modeling (PFM) is used in this study to track the evolution of particles undergoing sintering. Changes in relative density are then calculated from the results of the PFM simulations. These results are compared to experimental data obtained from furnace heating done on dried copper nanoparticle inks, and the simulation constants are calibrated to match physical properties.

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