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Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is a metal 3D printing technology that builds prototype and production metal parts from a CAD file using a laser to selectively fuse a fine metal powder in stainless steel, aluminum, and other high-performance alloys. DMLS is capable of producing highly complex features and all-in-one assemblies using metal materials that would be difficult to achieve through traditional manufacturing processes. DMLS is often used as a substitution for metal casting. DMLS enables companies to bring products to market they never thought possible with real metal parts and no upfront tooling costs.
|3D Printed Aluminum AlSi10Mg||Lightweight aluminum alloy. A great alternative to machining complex geometries.|
|3D Printed Stainless Steel 17-4||Fully-Dense 17-4 PH stainless steel metal, hardness 40 HRC, heat treatable.|
|3D Printed Stainless Steel 316/L||Fully-dense 316L stainless steel metal, superb corrosion resistance, meets requirements of ASTM F138.|
Additional materials are available upon request! Review more information about our materials here.
In addition to the removal of support structures, the part surface is media blasted to provide a uniform finish.
Additional DMLS post-processing, such as CNC Machining of features and polishing, are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and can be requested in the quoting tool.
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Because DMLS printers can print in metal, they are widely used for rapid tooling, fixtures, and jigs.
DMLS metal 3D printing is often used to make proof of concept models and fully functional late-stage prototypes.
Cast-quality finish and durable materials have made DMLS printing a favorite technology for end-use products.
DMLS produces parts that cannot be made using traditional manufacturing techniques.
DMLS utilizes powdered metals with strong mechanical and dynamic properties, making it perfect for end-use parts.
DMLS defies traditional Design-For-Manufacturing guidelines, so designs that would typically be made in assemblies can be made in a single piece.
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.
|Build Area||9.5” × 9.5” × 12.5” (9" x 9" x 7" is the recommended useable area)|
|Layer Height||.0012” - .0016" depending on material|
|General Tolerances||+/- 0.005” for the first inch is typical, plus +/- 0.002” for every inch thereafter|
|Surface Roughness||150-400 µin Ra, depending on build orientation and material used for the build|
This table depicts the general tolerances with direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) metal 3D printing. Stresses during the build, support strategy, and other geometry considerations may cause deviation in tolerances and flatness. Part designs with thicker geometries, flat or broad parts, and parts with uneven wall thicknesses may be prone to significant deviations or warp. Improved tolerances may be possible with a manual quote review, after successful completion of a prototype build, and must be approved on a case-by-case basis.
The Basics Of Direct Metal Laser Sintering
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is an additive 3D metal printing technology that builds prototype and production metal parts from a CAD file, producing complex geometries without the need for tooling. DMLS uses a laser to selectively fuse a fine metal powder in either stainless steel or aluminum materials. Many consider it a subset of the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process typically used to 3D print plastic materials like nylon.
How Direct Metal Laser Sintering Works
A Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) 3D printing machine is capable of producing highly complex features and all-in-one assemblies using metal materials that would be hard to achieve with more traditional subtractive manufacturing techniques such as CNC milling or turning.
DMLS uses a high power laser to melt and fuse fine metallic powders together based on a 3D CAD design file. The typical DMLS process begins by slicing the 3D design CAD file data into extremely thin layers, effectively generating a 2D file for each layer. This is similar to other 3D printing technologies such as SLS and SLA. The machine then coats a layer of fine metal powder onto a build or substrate plate, and a high-intensity laser traces the design according to each layer, heating and fusing the powders together to make a fully dense part. This process repeats layer by layer until the entire part is printed.
Direct Metal Laser Sintering is a groundbreaking metal 3D printing technology. It can rapidly create metal parts that are more complex and dense than subtractive manufacturing techniques can achieve. DMLS is able to support internal design features that cannot be created by other machining processes, allowing for greater design innovation. Additionally, where traditional techniques would require several parts to be made and assembled, DMLS is able to create the parts all at once. This strengthens the finished part overall, while reducing the weight and cost of production significantly. DMLS techniques can also create parts at a high density that other manufacturing processes are unable to match. This makes it ideal for parts which will be under high pressure, such as in oil and gas industries.
Benefits Of Direct Metal Laser Sintering
Our Manufacturing Partner Network gives you massive production capacity on demand with a wide range of DMLS machines and materials. Our quick turn DMLS printing service typically offers build volumes up to 250 x 250 x 325 mm, but we may be able to accommodate larger part volumes upon request in the quote — see our Manufacturing Standards for more details.
Choose from millions of possible combinations of materials, finishes, tolerances, markings, and certifications for your order.
Get your parts delivered right to your door without the hassle of sourcing, project management, logistics, or shipping.
Only the top 6% of shops that apply to become Partners make it through our multi-tiered qualification process, so you can be confident your part will be made right.