Direct Metal Laser Sintering

Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is an industrial 3D printing process that builds fully functional, end-use metal parts. A laser system draws onto a surface of atomized metal powder to weld the powder into a solid. After each layer, a blade adds a fresh layer of powder and repeats the process until a final part is formed.

DMLS uses a variety of alloys, allowing prototypes to be functional hardware made out of the same material as production components. Since the components are built layer by layer, it is possible to design organic geometries, internal features and challenging passages that could not be cast or otherwise machined. DMLS produces strong, durable metal parts that work well as both functional prototypes or end-use production parts.
1 to 50+ parts
Shipped in 1 to 7 days
Parts start at $95
PROCESS
DESIGN GUIDELINES

Design Guidelines

Size

Maximum build size for parts built with DMLS:
  • Normal resolution is 9.68 in. by 9.68 in. by 10.8 in. (246mm by 246mm by 274mm).
  • High resolution is 3.5 in. by 3.5 in. by 2.9 in. (88mm by 88mm by 73mm).

Resolution

DMLS parts are built in two resolutions:
Normal Resolution:
Layer thickness of 0.0012 in. (30 microns) with minimum feature size of 0.015 in.
High Resolution:
Layer thickness of 0.0008 in. (20 microns) with minimum feature size of 0.006 in.

Tolerances

Typically, tolerances of ±0.003 in. (0.076mm), plus an additional 0.001 in./in. (0.001mm/mm), are expected and achieved on well-designed parts.

Materials

We offer numerous material options through our three additive processes that are constantly updated to meet prototyping and master fabrication needs. DMLS offers parts built from five different metal materials:
  • Aluminum
  • Cobalt Chrome
  • Inconel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium
See full list of materials

Surface finishes

Due to the powdered metal origin of the direct metal process, the surface finish of DMLS parts are slightly rough. Expect roughness values on the order of 200 to 400 µin Ra, depending on material and resolution. Select surfaces can be machined or highly polished upon request.
Surface finishes
Fineline DMLS surface finishes

Secondary options

In addition to our standard DMLS finish, we offer in-house services such as hand-polishing We can also accommodate additional secondary options upon customer request. When tighter tolerances are required, we can provide secondary machining operations such as drilling, slotting, milling and reaming.

Equipment

We use multiple Concept Laser Mlab and M2 machines for DMLS production that offer large build sizes, produce accurate parts, and provide quick turnaround times. The Mlab is ideal for manufacturing metal components with elaborate structures, and is ideal when high surface quality and fine component structures are needed on parts. The Concept Laser M2 is a large platform machine that is able to produce larger metal parts than the Mlab. All of our 3D printing equipment can handle both reactive and non-reactive metal powders.