3D Metallic Printing

Metal 3D Printing

Metal 3D Printing – also known as Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) – is the process by which parts are manufactured by a laser fusing together high performance metals, layer by layer. Produced directly from 3D CAD data, 3D metal printing produces parts that are strong and lightweight with complex internal features, such as undercuts, channels through sections, tubes within tubes and internal voids. Metal 3D printing is a a fast, accurate and cost-effective method for the production of one-off prototype components and the economical manufacture of small series parts for testing purposes or as final production components for use in many different environments, without the investment in time and money of conventional tooling.

Technology Overview

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, wich also our first SLS 3D printers provider. The first DMLS machines, the EOSINT M 250, was launched in 1995. EOS were also the first to commercialise a DMLS process for titanium. The DMLS 3D printers widely used 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.

 

 

DMLS Benefits

 

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.

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.

  • Stainless Steel SS316L
  • Titanium TiAI64V grade 5. 
  • Maraging Steel
  • Stainless Steel: SS17-4 or SS15-5
  • Titanium Ti6AI4V grade 23
  • Cobalt-Chrome CoCrMo
  • Inconel Alloy 718
  • HastelloyX

DMLS 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 by EOS.

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!

 

NIHA Solutions : 3D Metallic Printing Sales & Services :

  • NIHA Solutions supports customers, in their BENCHMARKING, PROTOTYPING, CUSTOMER BUILT METALLIC DESIGN/PRINTING services
  • Identify the right vendors as per the customer/process requirements.
  • Establish NDA agreements with short listed Vendors & Customers
  • Initiate, conduct meetings and communicate in writing to freeze Techno-Commercial discussions, processes, technical input and output Parameters, Meeting All customer post-processing requirements, including, coupon testing, component testing, material characterization, welding, joining, fixtures, heat treatment, finishing operations, Process efficiency etc.
  • And any other requirements from customer, w.r.t post-processing, applicable during the course of manufacturing.
  • Support for parts printed in – metallic, plastic, or combination of both.
  • Create Quality Assurance Plan with acceptance and rejection levels.
  • Create Project Monitoring Plan with Project mile stones, schedules and logistics.
  • Provide respective designs, drawings, technical inputs and clarifications of the project to Vendors
  • Provide raw materials, parts, components, sub-assembly parts, assembly parts as required to Vendors
  • Collect raw materials, parts, components, sub-assembly parts, assembly parts as required.
  • Conduct tests, inspect, accept, reject and certify process, part, assembly with, third party inspection agency, if required
  • Resolve any legal disputes between vendors and customer
  • Liaison with end user and customer.

Upon successful completion of BENCHMARK and PROTOTYPING, If any customer wishes to buy the 3D Metallic printers for their in-house/production use, NIHA SOLUTIONS will tie-up with respective OEM’s/partners of 3D Metallic printers and will facilitate sales & services of the selected printers.

References :

Courtesy : Metal 3D Printing

DMLS : Metal 3D Printing Materials using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology

Powder Materials  for 3D Printing : Powder materials for 3D Printing

Learn How 3D printing metal works – Top 3 Ways! – How 3D metal printing works

Metal 3D Printer Guide – Metal 3D Printer Guide

3D Printing of seatmast topper of a bicycle part : 3D printing titanium: Learning to learn from success

EOS e-Manufacturing Solutions : EOS DMLS

SLM Solutions :SLM Solutions

Niha Solutions

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