Powder Bed Fusion: The Working Process, Current Applications and Opportunities

  • Fabrizio FinaEmail author
  • Simon Gaisford
  • Abdul W. Basit
Part of the AAPS Advances in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Series book series (AAPS, volume 31)


Powder bed fusion (PBF) is an umbrella term for three separate three-dimensional (3D) printing technologies; selective laser sintering (SLS), direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) and selective laser melting (SLM). These processes share the same printing procedure where powder particles are selectively fused by a local thermal process generated from a laser in a layer-by-layer manner. However, they differ in the materials used and energy transmitted. Thermoplastic polymers are often employed by SLS whereby a laser superficially connects the powder particles together by a process known as sintering. DMLS and SLM is still a sintering process although metals and powders are most often used. DMLS and SLM are mainly used in the aerospace, maritime and automotive industries although SLS has been successfully introduced into the medical arena for its applications in tissue engineering. In this chapter, we further explore how the SLS technology has proven its amenability in the printing and manufacture of pharmaceuticals.


Additive manufacturing Personalized medicines Bioprinting Drug product manufacturing Drug delivery systems Pharmaceutics 


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrizio Fina
    • 1
    Email author
  • Simon Gaisford
    • 1
    • 2
  • Abdul W. Basit
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutics, UCL School of PharmacyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.FabRx Ltd.Ashford, KentUK

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