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Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
What is Direct Metal Laser Sintering?
Direct Metal Laser Sintering also known as Laser Melting, Selective Laser Melting and Laser Curing is the process to build 3D printed parts in metal powder that is sintered together via a laser. A thin layer of powder is layered across the build platform via a re-coater which is then melted by the laser(s). The build platform lowers by the defined layer height and another layer of powder is then deposited across the part. The laser then melts the new powder layer and it is sintered to the previous layer to create a 3D object and the process is repeated until the parts are created.
DMLS requires additional support structures to be constructed and the part is anchored onto a build plate, this transfers the build up of heat due to the high temperatures involved in the process and reduces thermal stress to mitigate warping of the part. The part is removed from the plate via a post process, usually an EDM machine.
Parts can be manufactured close together and even inside each other to maximise the total build volume. The metal is manufactured inside a controlled heated environment and under a protective gas environment such as Argon.
- High density (99%)
- Surface finish compared to EBM
- Large range of standard metals
- Good mechanical properties of parts
- Industry standard materials
- Very expensive system costs
- Slow build time
- Small build volumes
- Limited tolerance
- Post processing required