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Introduction to metal 3D printing

Introduction to metal 3D printing

Written by Paul

December 21, 2020


SLM & DMLS: what’s the difference? Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) are two metal additive manufacturing processes that belong to the powder bed fusion 3D printing family.


The two technologies have a lot of similarities: both use a laser to scan and selectively fuse (or melt) the metal powder particles, bonding them together and building a part layer-by-layer. Also, the materials used in both processes are metals that come in a granular form. The differences between SLM and DMLS come down to the fundamentals of the particle bonding process (and also patents): SLM uses metal powders with a single melting temperature and fully melts the particles, while in DMLS the powder is composed of materials with variable melting points that fuse on a molecular level at elevated temperatures. Essentially: SLM produces parts from a single metal , while DMLS produces parts from metal alloys . Both SLM and DMLS are used in industrial applications to create end-use engineering products. In this article, we use the term metal 3D printing to refer to both processes in general and we describe the basic mechanisms of the fabrication process that are necessary for engineers and designers to […]

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