DMLS (3D Printing)
Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is an additive metal fabrication technology, occasionally referred to as selective laser sintering (SLS) or selective laser melting (SLM).
DMLS is a net-shape process, accurately creating parts that yield high resolution, great surface quality and excellent mechanical properties. This process facilitates the creation of very complex geometries. By virtue of the DMLS machines employed to “print” metal components, the process is also completely automated and is usually complete within a few hours.
DMLS begins with a three-dimensional model file of the part to be printed. Operators modify the file to ensure that the part’s print geometry and support structures are optimized for the process.
The DMLS machine begins printing the part using a powerful fiber optic laser. Within the build chamber of the machine is a platform for material dispensation. A recoater blade continuously moves this material (which is in the form of powder) on top of the build platform. With its focused laser beam, this DMLS machine melts this metal powder locally and fuses it into a solid structure. Parts are constructed additively, one layer at a time. Each layer is usually 40 micrometers thick.
Atlantic Precision, Inc. (API), a division of PCC Structurals, Inc. uses the DMLS process to manufacture parts in a variety of materials. Current alloys available include a variety of Inconel, Cobalt Chrome, Aluminum, Bronze and Titanium. Other materials are available upon request.