Metal 3D Printing (DMLS)

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CERTIFICATIONS

ISO 9001:2015 | ISO:13485 | DNV Qualification of Manufacture Certification for Inconel 718


Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is an industrial metal 3D printing process that builds fully functional metal prototypes and production parts in 7 days or less. A range of metals produce final parts that can be used for end-use applications.

Metal 3D printing technology is commonly used for:

  • Prototyping in production-grade materials
  • Complex geometries
  • Functional, end-use parts
  • Reducing metal components in an assembly

Metal 3D Printing (DMLS) Design Guidelines and Capabilities



metal 3d printed part

Metal 3D Printing Material Options

Stainless Steel (316L)

Stainless steel 316L is a workhorse material used for manufacturing acid and corrosion resistant parts. Select 316L when stainless steel flexibility is needed; 316L is a more malleable material compared to 17-4 PH. Final parts built in 316L receive stress relief application.

Primary Benefits

  • Acid and corrosion resistance
  • High ductility

Datasheet

Aluminium (AlSi10Mg)

Aluminium (AlSi10Mg) is comparable to a 3000 series alloy that is used in casting and die casting processes. It has good strength -to-weight ratio, high temperature and corrosion resistance, and good fatigue, creep and rupture strength. AlSi10Mg also exhibits thermal and electrical conductivity properties. Final parts built in AlSi10Mg receive stress relief application.

Primary Benefits

  • High stiffness and strength relative to weight
  • Thermal and electrical conductivity

Datasheet

Inconel 718

Inconel is a high strength, corrosion resistant nickel chromium superalloy ideal for parts that will experience extreme temperatures and mechanical loading. Final parts built in Inconel 718 receive stress relief application.

Primary Benefits

  • Oxidation and corrosion resistance
  • High performance tensile, fatigue, creep and rupture strength

Datasheet

Titanium (Ti6Al4V)

Titanium (Ti6Al4V) is a workhorse alloy. Versus Ti grade 23 annealed, the mechanical properties of Ti6Al4V are comparable to wrought titanium for tensile strength, elongation, and hardness.

Primary Benefits​

  • High stiffness and strength to relative weight
  • High temperature and corrosion resistance

Datasheet

Maraging Steel

Maraging Steel 1.2709 is a pre-alloyed ultra high strength steel in fine powder form. Its composition corresponds to US classification 18% Ni Maraging 300, European 1.2709 and German X3NiCoMoTi 18-9-5. This kind of steel is characterized by having very good mechanical properties, and being easily heat-treatable using a simple thermal age-hardening process to obtain.

Primary Benefits​

• High strength
• High hardness
• Good High-temperature resistance

Datasheet

Cobalt Chrome

Cobalt-Chrome material is used in our DMLS process. It is a superalloy comprised primarily of cobalt and chromium, and is known for its high strength-to-weight ratio, excellent creep and corrosion resistance.

Primary Benefits​

• High strength
• Creep and corrosion resistance
• Excellent biocompatibility

Datasheet


Compare Material Properties

Materials Resolution Condition Ultimate Tensile Strength
(MPa)
Yield Stress
(MPa)
Elongation
(%)
Hardness

Stainless Steel
(316L)

20 μm Stress Relieved 614 503 55 94 HRB
30 μm Stress Relieved 634 496 58 94 HRB
Aluminium (AlSi10Mg) 15 μm Stress Relieved 310 214 8 46 HRB
30 μm Stress Relieved 345 228 8 59 HRB
Cobalt Chrome
(Co28Cr6Mo)
20 μm As Built 1255 772 17 39 HRC
30 μm As Built 1213 820 14 38 HRC
Inconel 718 20 μm Stress Relieved 986 676 36 33 HRC
30 μm Stress Relieved 993 627 39 30 HRC
30 μm Solution & Aged per AMS 5663 1434 1207 18 46 HRC
60 μm Stress Relieved 958 572 40 27 HRC
60 μm Solution & Aged per AMS 5663 1386 1200 19 45 HRC
Titanium
(Ti6Al4V)
20 μm Stress Relieved 1055 951 15 35 HRC
30 μm Stress Relieved 993 855 18 33 HRC

These figures are approximate and dependent on a number of factors, including but not limited to, machine and process parameters. The information provided is therefore not binding and not deemed to be certified. When performance is critical, also consider independent lab testing of additive materials or final parts.



 

Surface Finish Options

 

metal 3d printed part standard finish

Standard Finish

Expect roughness values of 0.004 to 0.010mm Ra, depending on material and resolution. (For specific values by material, resolution and angle, please consult the material datasheets)

 

 

metal 3d printed part custom polish finish

Custom Finish

Secondary options include hand-polished or machined surfaces upon request. When tighter tolerances are required, we can provide secondary machining operations such as drilling, slotting, milling, and reaming.

 

 


Production Capabilities for Metal 3D Printing

Looking for an additive manufacturing solution for production projects? With our metal 3D printing technology, you’re able to choose from several secondary processes like post-process machining, tapping, reaming, and heat treatments that produce end-use production parts. To ensure high-quality parts, we also offer powder analysis, material traceability, process validation, and inspection reporting, and our direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) 3D printing process is ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certified. It’s industrial 3D printing designed around your project needs—whether prototyping or production.


1. Expertise
Consultative quoting and design feedback from our experienced engineering team and reliability from a manufacturer that has 3D printed millions of unique geometries over the last two decades.

2. Project Management
Dedicated project management support for all of your production needs from part design to finishing processes.


3. Scale
More than 100 industrial-grade metal and polymer 3D printers across five additive manufacturing technologies supporting production projects in various engineering-grade materials.

4. Quality
Rigorous process controls and engineering staff focused on achieving parts with tight tolerances, dimensional accuracy, and robust mechanical properties.


Post-Process Machining

dmls post machining

Achieve tight tolerances while having the design freedom of additive manufacturing.

  • 3- and 5-axis milling
  • Turning
  • Wire EDM
  • Tapping

Powder Analysis & Material Traceability

engineer cleaning dmls part

Analysis of powder and traceability of the supplier to meet your production requirements. 

  • Traceability
  • Chemistry
  • Particle size and distribution analysis

Mechanical Testing

engineer mechanically testing dmls part

Certified testing to confirm mechanical requirements on production parts.

  • Tensile
  • Hardness Testing
  • Fatigue
  • Vibration

Heat treatments

Specialised heat treatment processes improve the mechanical properties of parts by relieving internal stresses that develop during the sintering process. 

• Stress relief
• Hot isostatic pressing (HIP)
• Solution annealing
• Aging

Quality Inspections & Reports

Validate part geometry and evaluate material structure for quality reporting.

• Dimensional inspections with report
• First article inspection (FAI)
• CMM, optical, and CT scanning
• X-ray
• Surface roughness and porosity analysis
• Certificate of compliance with parts tracking

 


Certifications


post processing of a dmls part


About Metal 3D Printing

 

Why use Direct Metal Laser Sintering?

DMLS materials are generally accepted to be equal or better than those of wrought materials. DMLS is also ideal when the geometry or structure of the part is not possible in any other process (for weight saving designs using honeycomb or latice structures for example). Protolabs can also produce parts for implant medical applications. We also offer a number of secondary services such as painting, post machining and measurement and inspection, to further enhance the finish of your 3D-printed project design.

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a metal 3D printing technician removes support structures from a DMLS part

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