Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a Yb (Ytterbium) fiber laser fired into a bed of powdered metal, aiming the laser automatically at points in space defined by a 3D model, melting or rather, welding the material together to create a solid structure. DMLS was developed by Elextrolux Rapid Development and the EOS firm of Munich, Germany.
Direct metal laser sintering is one of the most fascinating 3D printing techniques, as it allows you to print your own designs in metals such as Aluminum or Titanium. Today we will take a more detailed look at this technology and see how you can access it via our online service.
The DMLS process involves use of a 3D CAD model whereby a .stl file is created and sent to the machine’s software. A technician works with this 3D model to properly orient the geometry for part building and adds supports structure as appropriate. Once this "build file" has been completed, it is "sliced" into the layer thickness the machine will build in and downloaded to the DMLS machine allowing the build to begin. The DMLS machine uses a high-powered 200 watt Yb-fiber optic laser. Inside the build chamber area, there is a material dispensing platform and a build platform along with a recoater blade used to move new powder over the build platform.
The technology fuses metal powder into a solid part by melting it locally using the focused laser beam. Parts are built up additively layer by layer, typically using layers 20 micrometers thick.
Benefits of DMLS
Build real metal parts without conventional manufacturing limitations. With DMLS, you can create durable, intricate metal parts that until now, were difficult or impossible to fabricate with other manufacturing processes.
Consolidate design and optimize value. As a 3D printing technology, DMLS allows you to integrate multiple components – such as mountings, fasteners, and sectioned parts – into a single, strong metal part. This reduces weight, cuts down waste, and saves the time and resources needed for assembly.
Functional Parts & Fast
Cut lead times and get results. From prototypes to low-volume production parts, DMLS can accelerate your project’s design and manufacturing timeline. Build tough, hard-working prototypes to test components in real-world applications, and eliminate time-consuming tooling for low-volume production parts.
Raw parts have a surface finish comparable to a fine investment cast part, but expert finishing services are crucial for a successful end-use component. This is partly why DMLS is not feasible for many companies and firms to take in-house with their own 3D printing operations, but Direct Manufacturing has the resources and experience you need. We offer a variety of professional finishing options, such as media blasting, electroplating, polishing, and CNC machining. Parts can also be heat treated in order to maximize mechanical properties.
Advantages of DMLS
- High speed: Because, no special tooling is required, parts can be built in a matter of hours.
- Complex geometries: Components can be designed with internal features and passages that cannot be cast or otherwise machined.
- High quality: DMLS creates parts with high accuracy and detailed resolution.
The DMLS uses high intensity laser source and imparts the energy over the metal powder as per the required geometry pattern, melts below its melting point and solidifies the metal powder to the deposited layer without affecting the material properties. DMLS process used for the actual material needed to make the part at one build time, there by eliminates the secondary machining. DMLS eliminates tool change & production line cost resulting in small batch & single part build cost efficiency.