Metal 3D Printing Materials using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology
What is DMLS?
DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) is an additive manufacturing method. It creates parts additively by sintering fine metal powder particles, to fuse them together locally. Like in the SLS process, your metal part will be created layer by layer, according to your 3D model. A major difference is the sintering temperature. Polyamide needs to be sintered at a temperature of 160°C to 200°C, when metal melts at a temperature around between 1510°C and 1600°C meaning that a more high-wattage laser is needed to reach that temperature.
First of all a roller will apply a layer of metal powder, then the laser will sinter the powder according to the 3D file and the build platform will get down before applying a new layer of powder... The process will be repeated until the desired part is created. Once it's finished, the metal part needs to cool down before being extracted. If the metal part needed supports, these supports will then be removed manually.
DMLS 3D Printers
DMLS was developed by the German company EOS, which is also our first SLS 3D printers' provider. The first DMLS machine, the EOSINT M 250, was launched in 1995. EOS were also the first to commercialise a DMLS process for titanium. The DMLS 3D printers we use are the EOS M280 and M290. Here's a complete list of EOS DMLS systems:
- The EOS M100 is the an entry level model for industrial 3D printing.
- The EOS M400 can 3D print metal parts at an industrial scale, with its building volume of 400x400x400 mm.
- The PRECIOUS M080 allows the additive manufacturing of precious metal products, typically for jewellery and watchmaking.
- The EOS M280 (which we use) enables the additive manufacturing of metal products directly from CAD data.
- The EOS M290 (which we also use) is the number one 3D printer for high-quality 3D printed metal parts.
The DMLS process is highly beneficial for those who need to produce their metal parts for prototyping or low-volume production by eliminating time-consuming tooling. It also allows to create complicated and highly detailed designs that would be possible with any other technology, due to the limitations of the traditional manufacturing processes.
For example, DMLS allows to integrate multiple components (like fasteners or mountings) into one only object, thus reducing the costs and delays of assembly. With DMLS, it's also possible to get thin-walled objects and intricate geometries.
Thanks to our online DMLS service, you can have access to professional 3D printers for prototyping and production, distantly, and without needing to worry about operating the machines yourself. You'll get your 3D printed metal parts, fully functional and ready to be used or integrated into a larger object, within a few days.
DMLS as other metal 3D printing technologies is appropriate for manufacturing small batches. In this case, it is better to contact directly our metal 3D printing team. We combine design, engineering and finishing skills in order to meet the requirements of your project. Your only concern will be to create the best design for what you want to do.
DMLS 3D Printing Materials
DMLS technology enables you to 3D print with several types of metal alloys. On our online 3D printing service, you can now order two materials produced with DMLS 3D printers:
- Stainless Steel SS316L
- Titanium TiAI64V grade 5.
We also provide other metal alloys on-demand. If you're interested in bigger sizes, other metals or specific finishes, please contact our sales department. We will provide you a quote and a complete study for a wide range of other metals, such as:
- Maraging Steel
- Stainless Steel: SS17-4 or SS15-5
- Titanium Ti6AI4V grade 23
- Cobalt-Chrome CoCrMo
- Inconel Alloy 718
We also offer online 3D printing of Aluminium AlSi7Mg0,6, but using SLM technology. For precious metal, we are offering metal casting service (in sterling silver and brass). To learn more about the SLM technique and our Aluminium material, click here. To learn more about the metal casting method and materials, click here. Thanks to this plurality of metals you can choose the right one for your needs and applications.
DMLS is particularly useful to create unique metal parts, that are fully functional, quickly available, and couldn't be manufactured with another technology. DMLS part are strong, durable and heat-resistant. The parts created with DMLS have mechanical properties equivalent to a cast metal part. They are also denser than cast investment parts.
DMLS parts are commonly used in the aerospace and aerospace industries, and in automotive companies... DMLS parts are used for tooling, fixtures, motor parts such as rotors and impellers, cooling channels, etc...
EOS M280 and M290 printers are perfect for creating tooling because they combine high accuracy and good surface quality.
For the medical device industry, there are several materials such
as stainless steel, titanium and superalloys like cobalt chrome
that can fit medical norms and requirements. When it comes
to applications in the medical sector, proof must often be
provided of the origins and composition of the material used.
Traceability and documentation is very important and provided
DMLS technology is also perfect for manufacturing prostheses or
implants. As the patient's individual anatomy is the key factor,
customization of the part is a great benefit provided by DMLS
technology. Meeting the patient's specific anatomic needs reduces
not only the length of time spent in hospital, but also the
risk of problems normally caused by ill-fitting implants.
By granting access to new ways of manufacturing with metal, DMLS
fosters innovation in those fields, as it might do in your
field of application!
DMLS Case Study
For a full case study about how 3D printing in general and DMLS in particular are revolutionizing the aerospace and aeronautic fields, read our blog article "3D Printing takes off with aeronautics & aerospace".
Our Metal 3D Printing service
Agile Metal Technology
Metal 3D printing is beginning to make inroads into manufacturing. However, creating metal parts in additive manufacturing is difficult and has several specific constraints, in particular thermal and structural ones. Some software exist to solve these problems but they are expensive and take quite some time to run, making them unavailable to most companies. Because of this, metal 3D printing projects often lack expertise, and require to go back and forth with several iterations before getting the part right, which is costly and time-consuming.
That's why Sculpteo has created a suite of tools, Agile Metal Technology, that helps designers and manufacturers analyze and evaluate metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) projects.
The suite Agile Metal Technology will be able to audit your 3D project thanks to a self-learning AI, handle thermic constraints, recommend the best structural configuration, optimize supports on your parts, propose the most fitting post-processing features and create batches to optimize the price and orientation of your parts.
You can already discover the first tool of the suite, Business Case, the first 3D printing AI, that enables you to audit your 3D project and learn how to optimize it thanks to 35+ criterias: just click this link.
On-demand Metal 3D Printing Service
Sculpteo provides you the best online 3D Printing Services for your metals parts. Thanks to our expertise you can choose between several metals and finishes and we will give you a quote instantly. If your project is very complicated and/or if you need specifics finishes please contact our sales team which will try to find a solution with you.
DMLS as other metal 3D printing technologies is appropriate for manufacturing small batches. In this case, our metal 3D printing team will do a complete study of your project and your requirements.
Our Titanium is created from a fine metallic powder principally composed of Titanium, Aluminum and Vanadium. Titanium has a low density; it is a high strength metal that is highly resistant to corrosion and has a very high melting point.
Stainless Steel 316L
Our Inox 316L is created from a fine metallic powder principally composed of chromium, nickel and molybdenum. The material has a good corrosion resistance and is characterized by a high ductility.
Other materials available on Sculpteo:
Plastic is a great starter material. Strong, with a fairly good level of detail and slightly flexible, it comes in a wide range of colors. If you're not sure which material to go with, plastic is a...
A plaster-like material that is colored as it prints. Excellent for purely decorative items but its brittle nature means shocks or friction should be avoided. Contact with water should also be...
Resin is a rigid, glassy material with a smooth surface, perfect for high detailed visualization. Moving parts work quite well. It comes in black, white and translucent or painted in a wide range of...
Sculpteo's brass material is composed of 82% copper and 18% zinc. It can be raw, mirror polished or gold plated. The final product is solid but susceptible to scratching and tarnishes quickly when...