Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF™) 3D Printing Service

SAF SCALE 01 300dpi CMYK

What is Selective Absorption Fusion?

SAF™ technology powers a new plastic powder bed fusion (PBF) process to achieve higher volume manufacturing of end-use production parts. This technology enables comprehensive control of the printing process to deliver accurate, consistent, and repeatable parts with engineering-grade thermoplastic materials, allowing the capability to replace injection molding. 

SAF™ technology produces small to medium functional plastic parts with tighter tolerances than SLS with an improved surface finish perfect for end-use components.

Built from the ground up with production-level printing in mind, SAF™ delivers exactly what you need – production quantities and competitive prices, all backed by the industry-leading production capabilities of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.

How SAF™ 3D Printing Helps Lower Production Costs 

Selective Absorption fusion is a great option for building higher quantities of a single production part design or leveraging batching to build several types of production parts all at once while maximizing cost-effective production.

Primary cost drivers are material consumption and build height, so you can make your parts as intricate as you would like or consolidate assemblies with ease. Complexity is free with SAF™ technology. Nesting your parts will further maximize your budget by reducing the manufacturing cycle time for each build.


3d printed SAF automotive grill insert

How does Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF™) Work?

Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF™) 3d printing is a polymer powder bed fusion process that uses industrial-grade piezo-electric printheads that jet high absorption fluid (HAF) onto a powder bed to define the area in which to form the 3d-printed object. 

The powder bed is then exposed to infrared (IR) energy. The parts of the bed that have HAF have a higher emissivity, which allows it to absorb more IR energy than the surrounding powder. This selectively fuses the parts in a layer-by-layer process.

Made for the manufacturing industry, the entire SAF platform is built around repeatability and reliability. The powder is added to each layer through a proprietary Big Wave process. This ensures that each layer reliably has enough powder regardless of how much is printed on that layer. SAF also uses an advanced thermal control system that guarantees part repeatability with every build. 

SAF has a unidirectional print process, meaning that every layer takes the same amount of time between fluid deposition, energy application, and powder recoating regardless of each part’s location in the bed or its complexity. 

The unidirectional print process and advanced thermal control allow for an industry-best nesting density (the total volume of parts divided by the available building space). This enables the manufacturing team to maximize space and put multiple types of geometries together in a build. This makes SAF cost-effective when manufacturing hundreds or thousands of 3D-printed end-use parts.

The parts are supported during the printing process by the powder itself, and once the parts have finished building, they must cool to room temperature. The parts are then removed by hand from the powder and cleaned off with compressed air and media blast, and unfused powder is able to be recycled into the next build which helps lower costs. 

3d printed gaming controller using SAF powder bed fusion (PBF) technology

What Selective Absorption Fusion Applications Can I Make? 

SAF™ is used more in the space of production manufacturing as one of its strengths is to produce larger quantities of repeatable parts. This means it is well-suited for a host of industries not limited to the automotive, energy, or aerospace sectors. 

Some applications seen have been:

  • Wiring guides
  • Grommets, clips
  • Air intakes
  • Consumer goods
  • Aerospace hardware
  • R&D parts for testing
  • Connectors
  • Housings, boxes

SAF™ Materials

SDM Material

High Yield PA 11

SAF™ currently offers Stratasys High Yield PA11 material for production. This rugged high-performance polymer is a 100% bio-based material derived from sustainably produced castor oil. Stratasys High Yield PA 11 is well suited for higher volume production, and it provides high ductility and impact strength along with excellent surface finish.

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SDM Material

Nylon PA12

Nylon PA12 for SAF™ is a versatile high-performance polymer ideal for mid-to-high volume production. As one one of the most popular powder bed fusion materials in additive manufacturing, PA12 produces rigid, chemically resistant parts with fine feature resolution and accuracy, and is ideal for high tolerance requirements. 

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Selective Absorption Fusion Applications


Production Parts

Shorten the supply chain and reduce inventories with end-use SAF™ production parts from Stratasys Direct.

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SAF Housing replacement


Strong, impact resistant housings you need with the accuracy and competitive costs you require.

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3d printed gaming controller using SAF powder bed fusion (PBF) technology

Functional Prototyping

Selective Absorption Fusion is an ideal solution for iterative prototyping or batch prototyping of assemblies.

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Quality, Production Parts Built for Demanding Industries

Manufacturing production parts takes more than just a 3D printer, even one as good as the H350™ powered by SAF™ technology. It takes a team of experts, manufacturing support, and quality management to ensure your orders are on time, on budget, and delivered to project requirements.

At Stratasys Direct, we spend hundreds of engineering hours validating a new technology to establish a strong foundational understanding of its capabilities as well as ensure consistent performance and reliability.

Our robust quality management systems support dependable manufacturing practices – from initial file interrogation to production manufacturing, quality control, and even machine maintenance, all backed by detailed traceability from raw material to final part.

With over 30 years of powder bed fusion experience and nearly two decades of AM production know-how, Stratasys Direct is prepared to deliver parts for the most demanding requirements, and we’ve got a team of project engineers standing by to guide you every step of the way.


General questions? Engineering questions? Need help with your design?

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Frequently Asked Questions About Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF™)

What is the difference between Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF™), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and Multi Jet Fusion (MJF)?

SLS, MJF, and SAF™ are all powder bed fusion 3d printing technologies, with SAF being developed with industrial-grade technology for production manufacturing. It provides better aesthetics and mechanical performance than SLS. SAF™ technology also uses a single-pass print-and-fuse process whereas MJF uses a double pass.

What geometries are best suited for Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF™)?

SAF™ is ideal for components with complex geometries, including parts with internal cavities. Parts that are produced with SAF™ remain encased in powdered material, which is self-supporting, thereby eliminating the need for additional supportive structures on or within the components.

What is the minimum feature size available for Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF™)?

The minimum wall and feature size is 0.030" inches (0.76mm). It may be possible to go thinner but geometries would need to be reviewed by our team. 

What finishes are available for SAF™ Parts?

SAF™ parts are media blasted after breakout and have a grey finish by default. They can be deep-dyed black, purple, green, or blue and can also include PolyShot which helps with the smoothness of the surface.

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