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SLS Vs. MJF 3D Printing Technology

Blog  /  SLS Vs. MJF 3D Printing Technology

SLS Vs. MJF 3D Printing Technology

Dec 29,2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern manufacturing, 3D printing has emerged as a transformative force, revolutionizing the way products are designed, prototyped, and produced. Among the myriad of 3D printing technologies available, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Multi Jet Fusion (MJF)stand out as two prominent contenders, each offering unique capabilities that cater to distinct manufacturing needs. This article delves into the intricacies of these two innovative 3D printing methods, exploring their strengths, limitations, and real-world applications.

What is Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective Laser Sintering, a pioneering 3D printing technique, employs a high-powered laser to selectively fuse powdered materials layer by layer, resulting in a solid object. This approach boasts remarkable versatility with various material options, accommodating thermoplastics, metals, ceramics, and composites. Such material diversity makes SLS especially suitable for industries like aerospace, automotive, and medical, where specific material properties are essential for optimal performance and safety.

SLS offers several advantages. It allows the creation of intricate geometries with high precision and accuracy. Unlike traditional manufacturing methods, SLS doesn't necessitate support structures for complex shapes, thanks to the unsintered powder acting as temporary support. This not only minimizes material waste but also reduces post-processing efforts. However, SLS has limitations, including comparatively longer print times and the requirement for post-processing to achieve desired surface finishes. Moreover, the initial setup and equipment costs can be relatively high, making it better suited for industries with specific material and precision requirements.

What is Multi Jet Fusion (MJF)

Multi Jet Fusion is a rapidly evolving 3D printing technology that involves depositing fusing and detailing agents onto a powdered material bed, followed by exposure to an energy source (such as an infrared lamp) for selective fusion. This process leads to faster print times compared to SLS, making MJF an appealing choice for applications where speed is crucial. MJF also excels in delivering high-quality surface finish and detail, making it well-suited for consumer goods, electronics, and rapid product development.

MJF boasts several advantages, including speed and accuracy due to its multi-jet array, enabling simultaneous material deposition and agent application. This results in parts with excellent surface finish, minimal warping, and reduced distortion. However, MJF's material options are currently more limited compared to SLS, mainly focusing on thermoplastics. As a relatively new technology, MJF's capabilities are likely to expand with ongoing developments.

Application Comparisons

SLS finds applications in aerospace and automotive sectors due to its ability to produce high-performance, intricately designed parts. The medical and healthcare sectors benefit from SLS's precision, producing patient-specific implants and prosthetics. Furthermore, engineering and prototyping industries leverage SLS for functional prototypes and concept models.

MJF is prominent in consumer goods and electronics, prioritizing speed, fine detailing, and quality surface finish. It shines in rapid product development, allowing designers to iterate and refine designs quickly. Additionally, MJF excels in customized manufacturing, enabling the production of personalized products at scale.

The choice between SLS and MJF often hinges on factors such as material requirements, part complexity, project timelines, and budget considerations.

           MJF                                                   SLS
Minimum Build Size5mm*5mm*5mm5mm*5mm*5mm
Maximum Build SizeNylon PA12 - 370mm*276mm*360mm
Nylon PAC - 320mm*175mm*225mm
Recommended wall thickness1.0mm1.0mm
Minimum Embossed & Engraved Details0.5 mm deep & 0.5 mm wide0.8 mm deep & 0.8 mm wide
Minimum Clearance (between parts that will be assembled together)0.2mm-0.4mm0.2mm
Minimum Clearance (between two moving or connecting parts)0.6mm0.6mm
Threads DesignThread pitch - 0.6mmThread pitch - 0.6mm
Minimum Escape Hole Diameter2.5mm2.5mm
Minimum Holes design1.5mm1.5mm
Minimum column design2.0mm2.0mm

Print Quality and Surface Finish

Comparing print quality and surface finish between SLS and MJF reveals intriguing distinctions. SLS excels in producing intricate details with high accuracy. Its layer-by-layer powder fusion results in robust parts with impressive structural integrity. Furthermore, SLS parts often display a slight textured surface due to the powder particles, which can be desirable for specific applications.

Conversely, MJF offers exceptionally smooth and uniform surface finishes due to the application of fusing and detailing agents and subsequent energy exposure. This renders MJF parts visually appealing and suitable for applications where aesthetics play a crucial role.

Cost Considerations

Both SLS and MJF come with specific cost considerations. SLS entails significant initial investments due to costly lasers and machinery. Material costs can also accumulate, particularly when utilizing high-performance materials. Additionally, post-processing steps like powder removal and surface finishing contribute to overall expenses.

In contrast, MJF has its cost structure. While hardware and machine prices might be lower than SLS, considerations include fusing and detailing agent consumption rates and material costs. Post-processing costs are generally lower for MJF due to reduced powder handling.

Ultimately, cost-effectiveness depends on specific project requirements, encompassing material properties, part intricacy, and production volume.

Future Trends and Developments

Both SLS and MJF are evolving technologies, with ongoing advancements shaping their trajectories. SLS is witnessing developments in new materials, expanding its applications across diverse industries. Improved printing speeds and efficiency are also on the horizon, enhancing its competitiveness.

MJF is undergoing similar growth, with an expanding array of materials offering enhanced functionality and variety. Enhanced printing resolution and capabilities are likely focal points, enabling MJF to attain new levels of precision and performance.


In the dynamic realm of 3D printing, choosing between SLS and MJF is a pivotal decision that rests on factors such as material properties, application requirements, budget constraints, and desired outcomes. Selective Laser Sintering offers versatility and accuracy, making it ideal for industries where material diversity and precision are paramount. In contrast, Multi Jet Fusion delivers speed, fine detailing, and polished surface finishes, appealing to industries and applications prioritizing rapidity and aesthetics.

As both technologies continue to evolve, staying informed about the latest advancements is crucial for manufacturers, designers, and engineers, ensuring they harness 3D printing's full potential within their respective fields. In a realm driven by innovation, the choice between SLS and MJF could mark a turning point in the journey toward creating revolutionary products that shape the future of manufacturing.

If you already recognize the differences between the two materials and are already to bring your 3D files into reality,get a free online quote now.