3D printing with metal technologies

Let’s discuss a 3D printing technologies using metal. There are several such technologies, but they all are basically the same. Technologies DMLS, SLM and Laser Cusing is essentially a reserved trade names are the same technology selective sintering and melting metal powders using a laser, applied layer by layer, until the finished full-strength parts.

Quad Laser 3D Metal Printer 3d print

DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) is a proprietary name of the German company EOS (Electro Optical Systems). SLM (Selective Laser Melting) is a proprietary name of the original company MCP Hek, which can now use the company Realizer, SLM Solutions, MTT and Renishaw. Laser Cusing in turn restricted the name of the technology, which is owned by Concept Laser – a company belonging to the Hofmann Innovation Group. The company EOS and MCP Hek at the beginning of the development of this technology used the name SLM parallel. As a first reserved the MCP which resulted in the fact that the company EOS have to make your own name – DMLS. Today, more and more companies are interested in building their own machines SLM / DMLS therefore we can meet increasingly newer names for the same technology.

Quad Laser 3D Metal Printer demo, The SLM 500HL

DMLS / SLM technologies usually use fiber laser operating in the infrared. Parts are built by applying thin layers of metal powder. The applying process of the material usually takes place with a razor blade, which further cuts unevenness of the previous layer. After distributing the powder begins the process of laser exposure. The laser beam is directed to a fiber collimator, which distracts and compensates the beam. Then, two scanner mirrors mounted on galvanometers precise, direct the beam to the focusing lens and the surface of the powder. Each of the mirrors is responsible for positioning the laser beam in either of two axes X and Y. In this way the contour path is melted and the filler material and the surface of the powder layer after layer is bonded to a single item.

3D Printing in Metal on the MakerBot Replicator 2

In practice, these technologies are replacement for casting. Because of the direct part of the building on the basis of CAD 3D is possible to considerably reduce the production time and avoiding intermediate model that generates the dimensional inaccuracies. In addition, DMLS/ SLM technology allows you to build complex filigree of spatial structures that are not obtainable by other methods.

3D Printed Wrench

3d printing metal technologies  are usually used in the production unit (elements of large dimensions), and small-lot – for small items. Currently, these technologies are considered to be the most advantageous choice when creating prototypes, mainly due to the very high quality and low price. Mechanical properties of the produced elements can be improved through the use of post-production processes.

Industries in which 3D printing of metal is particularly applicable:

  • Jewellery
  • Prosthetics
  • 3D printing molds with conformal cooling

The biggest advantages of 3d printing technologies with metal are:

  • Print area allows the creation of large elements without any additional treatment.
  • Possible to produce three-dimensional element in a very short time.
  • Possibility of a prototype of the product based on the CAD file without further processing.
  • it enables economic production of fully functional product samples.
  • The possibility of realization of an element with a structure which can not be done in any other way.

 

3D printing with metal technologies still develop and become more popular. We think they will improve soon and 3d printers will be wide used by 3d printing fanatics like we are 🙂

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