Metal 3D Printing

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Metal 3D printing is a method of additive manufacturing at Xometry that can allow metal parts to be built more quickly and efficiently than by utilizing CNC machining. The process creates prototype and production metal parts by using a laser to selectively fuse a fine metal powder. While traditional methods of manufacturing remove material from a piece of stock metal, 3D metal printing processes such as direct metal laser sintering builds parts from the ground up.

This allows for the production of parts with very complex geometries, such as integrated fastening features, custom contours, and metal mesh structures. Using metal 3D printers allows for production of assemblies in a single part form, reducing the number of parts, assembly time, and opportunity for failures. Additionally, since metal 3D printed parts do not require tooling, the initial part manufacturing lead time can be reduced from months to days.

Advantages of Metal 3D Printing

Complex Geometry

DMLS produces parts that cannot be made using traditional manufacturing techniques.

Strength

DMLS utilizes powdered metals with strong mechanical and dynamic properties, making it perfect for end-use parts.

Efficiency

DMLS defies traditional Design-For-Manufacturing guidelines, so designs that would typically be made in assemblies can be made in a single piece.

Rapid Turnaround

Metal 3D printed parts do not require tooling which reduces the manufacturing lead time from weeks to days, allowing for faster innovation and speed to market.

Metal 3D Printing Materials

Available aluminum varieties:

  • AlSiMg

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Explore our materials in our materials photo gallery.

Available steel varieties:

  • Stainless Steel 17-4
  • Stainless Steel 316L

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Explore our materials in our materials photo gallery.

Metal 3D Printing Finishes

Standard

In addition to the removal of support structures, the part surface is media blasted to provide a uniform finish.

Additional Finishes

Additional post processing, such as CNC Machining of features and polishing, are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For examples of our additional finishes, please refer to the DMLS section of our photo gallery.

Applications for Metal 3D Printing

Rapid Tooling

Because DMLS printers can print in metal, they are widely used for rapid tooling, fixtures, and jigs.

Rapid Prototyping

DMLS metal 3D printing is often used to make proof of concept models and fully functional late-stage prototypes.

Direct Digital Manufacturing

Cast-quality finish and durable materials have made DMLS printing a favorite technology for end-use products.

Industries that use Metal 3D Printing

DMLS is a high-end technology that is still being developed to its full potential. The process is ideal for making complex components and functional prototypes in industries like oil, gas, medical, defense, aerospace, and robotics.

Featured Metal 3D Printing Resources

Video: How Will It Grow?

Video: How Will It Grow?

What causes metal 3D Printed parts to warp, distort, or have inconsistent features?! Watch our new video to see what factors create a successful DMLS part, and how to implement them for your next project.

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