What is Directed Energy Deposition?

Posted on Feb 04, 2021 by Kieran Vaughn

What is Directed Energy Deposition?

Directed energy deposition is an additive manufacturing process, capable of delivering repairs on parts or ground-up fabrication of geometries—especially parts larger than one cubic foot. If you think DED printing might be optimal for your project, submit an RFQ in our secure portal or email us to discuss your project needs.

Directed energy deposition process


What are the Different Types of Directed Energy Deposition Processes?

  1. Directed Energy Deposition (Metal, Powder)
  2. Directed Energy Deposition (Metal, Wire)

Example of directed energy deposition manufactured part

What are the Advantages of Directed Energy Deposition?

  • Strong, End-Use Parts. State-of-the-art technology prints durable metal parts.
  • Metal Repair. Directed Energy Deposition printers can print metal onto existing parts in need of repair.
  • Build Volume. Some DED printers can build parts several feet in each direction.
  • Intricate Geometry. 5-axis DED models can produce complicated geometries without support.

What are the Limitations of Directed Energy Deposition?

  • Surface Finish. Surface finish exceeding 1000 µin Ra requires post-processing to achieve the required smoothness for many applications.
  • Relaxed Tolerance. Directed Energy Deposition machines can typically achieve a finest tolerance of 0.01” (0.25 mm), making small features difficult.

3Diligent technologies: RPMI Directed Energy Deposition

Key Metrics

Stock Surface Finish
~1000 µin Ra

Lead Time
10-20 Business Days

Maximum Size
60″×60″×84″ (1500mm x 1500mm x 2100mm)

Minimum Feature Size
0.01″ (0.25mm)

Minimum Wall Thickness
0.03″ (0.750mm)


Directed energy deposition is an emerging technology in the 3D Printing space gaining popularity due to its fast and durable part creation. Consider submitting an RFQ through manufacturing services such as ProdEX to get started today.

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