Advantages of Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
Due to the layerwise buildup of the parts you can realize geometries which were impossible to produce with conventional manufacturing technologies. Instead of producing single parts and then joining them, with SLM it is possible to build the part in one pice (Integration of function).
With SLM it is possible, to produce a part directly from 3D CAD data. The lenghy process of elaborating drawings can be omitted and therefore you have less efforts. In combination with 3D scanning SLM allows the realization of easy duplication of a unique product or production of spare parts.
SLM allows you to save weight and therefore also to reduce production cost. This can be achieved with thin walls and hollow or with lattice structures filled parts. Such methods make SLM very interesting for the space and aerospace industry.
Material properties of SLM parts are comparable to material properties of base materials. Densities of 99.5% and higher can be achieved. This allows the direct digital manufacturing of functional prototypes or serial parts.
Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing (AM) process. It is an iterating two-step process (see diagram on the right): In the first step a very thin layer metal powder is applied. In the second step the laser melts the powder in the selected areas and the melt resolidifies. These steps are repeated until the part is finished.
This this SLM process all weldable metals can be processed. The optimal parameters (e.g. laserpower or scanspeed) vary from metal to metal. The process is also known as metal 3d printing, direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), lasercusing and near netshape manufacturing.
Per default it is possible to process all metals by SLM if they are weldable conventionally. For each material there is a set of optimal parameters and the list of known materials is growing.
ProtoShape mostly uses the following materials:
- AlSi10Mg (serial production)
- Hastelloy X (serial production)
- Haynes 230
- Inconel 718
- 316L (1.4404)
- Ti6Al4V Gd23
Please tell us if you need another material for your parts and we are glad to help.