Powder Bed Fusion

(SLS, DMLS, DLM, SLM, DMLM, LaserCUSING)

Looking to explore metal 3D Printing?  3Diligent's Powder Bed Fusion 3D Printing Service is your solution.  Offering the broadest range of technologies (DMLS, EBM, DLM, SLM, LaserCUSING) and materials, we are consistently able to deliver outstanding quality parts.  Additionally, our ability to leverage supply partners with particular expertise in certain materials and build dimensions ensures we can deliver you unmatched value.  Submit an RFQ through our secure portal to see for yourself.  Have outstanding questions?  Send us a bit of information about your project via email and we'll be in touch to discuss solutions.

 

Process Overview

This process family relies on selectively melting powdered material - commonly nylon or a range of metals - in a powder bed before relayering and repeating. Powder Bed Fusion is exceptional at producing overhangs and downward facing surfaces, especially with plastic, where support structures are not needed.  On the downside, the high temperatures created by the energy source (laser or electron beam) introduce a high amount of heat into the part which may cause warpage or undesirable stress concentration. Parts will sometimes be oriented in unintuitive ways to reduce heat concentration. This means that your design might not necessarily print with Z or Y direction pointed up. Parts produced tend to be quite strong and relatively anisotropic, but with a grainy surface finish.

Branded Processes (Also Known As)

Plastic

Metal

  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
  • Direct Metal Printing (DMP)
  • LaserCUSING
  • Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM)

Process At A Glance

Common Materials

Nylon 12, Glass-Filled Nylon, Titanium 64, Stainless Steel 316, 15-5, 17-4, Inconel 625, 718

Standard Tolerance

0.005" (0.125mm)

Stock Surface Finish

300-450 µin Ra

Lead Time

2-10 Business Days

Maximum Size

14" x 14" x 15" (350mm x 350mm x 380mm)

Minimum Layer Thickness

.001" (.025mm)

Minimum Feature Size

.005" (0.125mm)

Minimum Wall Thickness

0.04" (1mm)

A part printed using the Powder Bed Fusion process can be post-processed to remove some of its characteristic grainy surface, as shown here
A part printed using the Powder Bed Fusion process can be post-processed to remove some of its characteristic grainy surface, as shown here

Advantages

  • Durable Parts - Sintered thermoplastic parts can withstand moderate wear with relative isotropy.  Metal printed parts are stronger than cast parts
  • Material Selection - Choose from over 20 materials with a range of properties
  • Intricate Geometries - Loose powder provides support to printed features above, allowing for geometries that are otherwise impossible
  • As-built Assemblies - Observing the minimum clearance, SLS can produce multi-part assemblies in a single run

Limitations

  • Tall, Unsupported Structures - Relayering operation can damage tall features that are not properly supported
  • Surface Finish - Abrasive stock finish requires post processing to smooth
  • Hollow Cavities - Internal hollow cavities need to be perforated to drain unused material
SLS 3D Printed Parts
SLS 3D Printed Parts

Example Machines

  • 3D Systems ProX 320
  • Arcam A2X
  • Arcam Q20
  • Concept Laser mLab
  • EOSINT M290
  • EOS M 280
  • EOS M 290
  • EOS Formiga P 100
  • EOS Formiga P 110
  • EOSINT P 390
  • EOSINT P 395
  • EOSINT P 760
  • Renishaw AM250
  • SLM Single Laser 280
  • SLM Dual Laser 280
Photo Credit: EOS
EOS M 290 Printer.  Photo Credit: EOS

Example Materials

Plastics

  • Nylon 11 (PA 860)
  • Nylon 12 (PA 2200)
  • Aluminum-Filled Nylon 12 (PA 605-A)
  • Fire Retardant Nylon 12 (PA 606-FR)
  • Glass-Filled Nylon (PA 614-GS)

Metals

  • Aluminum Alloys (AlSi10Mg, AlSi12Mg)
  • Cobalt Chrome (MP1, SP2)
  • Nickel Inconel Superalloys (Inconel 625, Inconel 718)
  • Stainless Steel (316, 316L, 15-5, 17-4)
  • Maraging Steel (MS1)
  • Hastalloy X
  • Titanium (Commercially Pure)
  • Titanium 64 Alloy (Ti64)
  • Tool Steel

3Diligent Metal Printed Gear