Directed energy deposition (DED) or laser metal deposition (LMD) is a powder-fed system. It sends a highly concentrated metal powder stream through an extruder, which is immediately met with a laser at the surface of the part.
Our directed energy deposition service jets powdered material into a melt pool. This melt pool is created by an energy source, typically a laser, which is attached to a machine tool arm. In this way, the machine tool can build a part up layer-by-layer, or simply build upon an existing part to create new structures or repair damaged ones. Material is added to the locally molten part in a continual process, similar to the way an FDM uses a print head to deposit thermoplastic. This process family is typically used for extremely large prints. Known for its speed and ability to build upon existing structures, directed energy deposition systems are sometimes coupled with CNC machine tools in the same manufacturing cell to create higher tolerance parts.