Direct Metal Laser Solidification (DMLS®) manufactures fully functional parts without the tooling and set-up time and costs affiliated with traditional manufacturing and casting. Manufacturing parts micro-layer by micro-layer enables highly complex designs to be produced in single pieces or with minimal assembly. i3DMFG™’s EOS M280, M290, and M400.4 3D metal printing machines use 20 to 60 microns and 400W lasers to fuse micro-layer together at specific points directed by a 3D Solidworks design file. The powdered metal is spread by a sliding recoater arm on the print platform, laser fused, and then lowered by a distance equal to a single micron powder layer. This entire process is repeated on tens of thousands of layers until a fully functional production part is finished and ready to be Wire EDM precision cut from the build platform.
DMLS® parts are typically characterized as having strength, hardness and durability that is, at the least, comparable to cast or forged parts in a comparable metal. In many cases, the rapid solidification rate, after the laser fusing, creates a very fine crystal structure with superior strength to forged or cast components. When heat treated, density, durability, and strength are even greater. Because of the superior quality and unique manufacturing process, parts design freedoms include designs that are built hollow, or with fill structures that produce even higher strength-to-weight ratios.