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Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
3D Printing

  • DMLS Parts In As Soon As 3 Days
  • Complex Metal Parts From A Variety of Alloys
  • Functional Metal Prototypes & End-Use Parts
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DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) 3D Printing

Streamline your manufacturing with precision 3D metal prototypes and low-volume metal production parts that would be impractical or cost prohibitive to machine. Fathom creates 3D metal parts using a fiber laser fired onto a metal plate, repeatedly adding layers of powdered metal and fusing them to previous layers. Although the resulting part is accurate with excellent surface quality and mechanical properties, additional post-processing is also recommended.

Metal 3D printing, also known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) is an additive layer technology. A metal 3D printer utilizes a laser beam to melt 20-60 micron layers of metal powder on top of each other. Powdered metal is spread across the entire build platform and selectively melted to previous layers. This additive process allows metal parts to be grown out of a bed of powdered metal. The process is like other polymer-based Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printers that use powder bed fusion.

DMLS Parts in As Soon As Three-Days / / Get A Quote

Benefits of Metal Prototypes //

  • Precision
  • High-Quality
  • Low-Volume
  • Strength

In-House Post-Processing //

  • Support Removal
  • CNC Secondary Machining (Critical Dimension Re-Qualification)
  • Tapping, Threading & Helicoils
  • Vibratory Polishing & Surface Treatment
  • Annealing & Age Hardening
  • Painting & Finishing

DMLS Materials Include //

  • Stainless Steel
  • Maraging Steel
  • Inconel
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Other Materials On Demand

Fathom uses EOS & SLM Build Platforms //

  • The build volume for the SLM is 11 x 11 x 13.8 inches
  • The build volume for the EOS is 9.85 x 9.85 x 8.5 inches

DMLS 3D Printed Parts & Images //


DMLS Materials for 3D Printing

MATERIAL ALLOY DESIGNATION LAYERS HARDNESS ADVANTAGES APPLICATIONS
Stainless Steel (PH1) 15-5 PH, DIN 1.4540 & UNS S15500 20 or 40 Micron Layers 30-35 HRC Built, Post Hardened to 40 HRC High Hardness & Strength Prototype & Production Parts
Stainless Steel (GP1) 17-4, European 1.4542, German X5CrNiCuNb16-4 20 or 40 Micron Layers 230 ± 20 HV1 Built, Ground & Polished to 250-400 HV1 High Toughness & Ductility Engineering Applications
Cobalt Chrome (MP1) ISO 5832-4 & ASTM F75 20, 40 or 50 Micron Layers 35-45 HRC Built High Temperature Resistance Turbines & Engine Parts
Maraging Steel (MS1) 18% Ni Maraging 300, European 1.2709, German X3NiCoMoTi 18-9-5 20 or 40 Micron Layers 33-37 HRC Built, Post Hardened to 50-56 HRC Easily Machinable & Excellent Polishability Injection Molding, Tooling & Conformal Cooling
Aluminum AlSi10Mg Typical Casting Alloy 30 Micron Layers Approx 119 ± 5 HBW Low Weight & Good Thermal Properties Automotive & Racing
Nickel Alloy IN718 UNS N07718, AMS 5662, AMS 5664, W.Nr 2.4668, DIN NiCr19Fe19NbMo3 40 Micron Layers 30 HRC Built, Post Hardened 47 HRC Heat & Corrosion Resistant Turbines, Rockets & Aerospace
Stainless Steel (316L) ASTM F138 20 Micron Layers 85 HRB Corrosion & Pitting Resistant Surgical Tools, Food & Chemical Plants
Titanium Ti-64* ASTM F2924 30 or 60 Micron Layers 320 ± 15 HV5 Light Weight, High Strength & Corrosion Resistance Aerospace & Motorsport Racing
Titanium Ti-64 ELI* ASTM F136 Properties 30 or 60 Micron Layers 320 ± 15 HV5 Corrosion Resistance & Biocompatibility Medical, Biomedical & Implants

*Contact a Fathom expert for more information.

DMLS Parts in As Soon As Three-Days / / Get A Quote

Aluminum AlSi10Mg

AlSi10Mg is a typical casting alloy with good casting properties and is used for cast parts with thin walls and complex geometry. The alloying elements silicon and magnesium lead to high strength and hardness. The alloy also features good dynamic properties and is therefore used for parts subject to high loads. Parts in Aluminum AlSi10Mg are ideal for applications which require a combination of good thermal properties and low weight.

Aluminum AISi10Mg Properties 

  • High Strength 
  • Hardness 
  • Good Dynamic Properties 

Applications

  • Functional Prototypes
  • Small Production Runs
  • Custom-Made or Spare Parts
  • Automotive Parts
  • Motor Racing Parts
  • Aerospace Components
  • Prototype Parts For Aluminum Die Casting

Cobalt Chrome MP1

Cobalt Chrome MP1 produces parts in a cobalt-chrome-molybdenum-based superalloy. This class of superalloy is characterized by having excellent mechanical properties (strength and hardness), corrosion resistance and temperature resistance. Such alloys are commonly used in biomedical applications such as dental and medical implants. They are also for high-temperature engineering applications such as in aerospace engines.

Properties

  • High Strength, Temperature & Corrosion Resistance
  • Mechanical Properties Improve With Increased Temperature Up To 500-600 °C
  • Chemistry Conforms To The Composition UNS R31538 Of High Carbon CoCrMo Alloy
  • Nickel-Free (< 0.1 % nickel content).
  • Fulfils The Mechanical & Chemical Specifications of ISO 5832-4 & ASTM F75 For Cast CoCrMo Implant Alloys

Applications

  • High-Temperature Engineering Applications (e.g., turbines & medical implants)

Maraging Steel MS1

Maraging Steel MS1 is a martensite steel with increased hardenability. Its chemical composition corresponds to U.S. classification 18% Ni Maraging 300, European 1.2709 and German X3NiCoMoTi 18-9-5. This kind of steel is characterized by having excellent strength combined with high toughness. The parts are easily machinable and polished after the building process. They can be easily post-hardened to more than 50 HRC.

Properties

  • Easily Machinable
  • Age Hardenable Up To Approx. 54 HRC
  • Good Thermal Conductivity

Applications

  • Series Injection Molding & High-Volume Production
  • Other Tooling Applications (e.g., Aluminum Die Casting)
  • High-Performance Parts

Stainless Steel GP1

Stainless Steel GP1 is a stainless steel. Its chemical composition corresponds to U.S. classification 17-4, European 1.4542 and German X5CrNiCuNb16-4. This kind of steel is characterized by having good mechanical properties, especially excellent ductility in laser processed state. Stainless Steel is widely used in a variety of engineering applications. This material is ideal for many part-building applications such as functional metal prototypes, small series products, individualized products or spare parts.

Properties

  • Good Mechanical Properties
  • Excellent Ductility

Applications

  • Engineering Applications Including Functional Prototypes
  • Small Series Products
  • Individualized Products Or Spare Parts
  • Parts Requiring Particularly High Toughness & Ductility

Stainless Steel PH1

Stainless Steel PH1 is a stainless steel. The chemical composition conforms to the compositions of 15-5 PH, DIN 1.4540 and UNS S15500. This kind of steel is characterized by having excellent mechanical properties, especially in the precipitation hardened state. This type of steel is widely used in a variety of medical, aerospace and other engineering applications requiring high hardness and strength. This material is ideal for many part-building applications such as functional metal prototypes, small series products, individualized products or spare parts.

Properties

  • Very High Strength
  • Easily Hardenable Up To Approx. 45 HRC

Applications

  • Engineering Applications Including Functional Prototypes
  • Small Series Products
  • Individualized Products Or Spare Parts
  • Parts Requiring Particularly High Strength & Hardness

Titanium Ti64

Titanium Ti64 (Ti6Al4V) is a Titanium alloy. This well-known alloy is characterized by having excellent mechanical properties and corrosion resistance combined with low specific weight and biocompatibility. The ELI version (extra-low interstitials) has particularly high purity.

Properties

  • Light Weight With High Specific Strength (Strength Per Density)
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Biocompatibility
  • Laser-Sintered Parts Fulfil Requirements Of ASTM F1472 (for Ti6Al4V) & ASTM F136 (for Ti6Al4V ELI) Regarding Maximum Impurities
  • Very Good Bio-Adhesion

Applications

  • Aerospace & Engineering Applications
  • Biomedical Implants

DMLS Finishing

Fathom can take your DMLS part to the next level by offering in house finishing options to meet your needs. We can also manage any outsource finishing needs for your DMLS parts. Parts built on a DMLS machine have a raw, rough finish comparable to a fine investment cast. The surface roughness is approximately 350 R a- µ inch or R a-µm 8.75, or a medium-turned surface. This surface roughness can be improved all the way up to 1 R a- µ inch or R a-µm 0.025, qualifying as a super mirror finish. There are several processes available that can be used to achieve the desired surface roughness or finish.

Abrasive Blast (Grit & Ceramic) //

Abrasive blasting is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material (media) against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface. Abrasive blasting services are included standard for all DMLS projects. If a “raw” DMLS part is desired, this should be noted when submitting your quote request. Abrasive blasting with grit and ceramic media provides a satin, matte finish of approximately 150 R a- µ inch or R a-µm 24. This finish is largely uniform, but does not provide a 100% uniform finish.

Shot Peen //

Shot peening is a process used to produce a compressive residual stress layer and modify mechanical properties of metals. It entails the use of media to impact a surface with sufficient force to create plastic deformation. It is similar to blasting, except that it operates by the mechanism of plasticity rather than abrasion. Peening a surface spreads it plastically causing changes in the mechanical properties of the surface. Depending on the part geometry, part material, shot material, shot quality, shot intensity and shot coverage, shot peening can increase fatigue life from 0–1,000%. Shot peening is used primarily for foundries for deburring or descaling surfaces in preparation for additional post-processing.

Optical Polish //

When projects have geometries in low quantities that are not tolerance dependent, the best finishing option is an optical polish. Optical polishes are extremely cost effective and the best way to achieve a brilliant finish. Due to surface porosity of DMLS metals, .003” to .010” of surface material is removed depending upon geometry. If this option is desired, it is imperative that designers or engineers consult with Fathom prior to building, as specific surfaces may need to be offset with additional material in order to ensure part integrity after post-processing. Optical polishing is not ideal for large batches as it lends itself to an inconsistent finish from part to part.

Electrochemical Polishing //

Electrochemical polishing, also referred to as electro polishing, is an electrochemical process that removes material from metal parts through polishing, passivation and deburring. It is often described as the reverse of electroplating—differing from anodizing in that the purpose of anodizing is to grow a thick, protective oxide layer on the surface of a material rather than polish. The process may be used in lieu of abrasive fine polishing in micro structural preparation and is an inexpensive option for DMLS projects that are not tolerance dependent. This creates a bright uniform finish. The extent to which electro polishing is successful depends upon the degree of preparation of the treated surfaces.

Abrasive Flow Machining (Extrude Hone) //

Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM), also known as extrude honing, is a method of smoothing and polishing internal surfaces and producing controlled radii. A one-way or two-way flow of an abrasive media is extruded through a workpiece, smoothing and finishing rough surfaces. One-way systems flow the media through the workpiece, then it exits from the part. In two-way flow, two vertically opposed cylinders flow the abrasive media back and forth. The process is particularly useful for difficult to reach internal passages, bends, cavities and edges. This is an inexpensive option for DMLS projects that are not tolerance dependent and have a more uniform surface roughness. The extent to which AFM is successful depends upon the degree of preparation of the treated surfaces.

Electroplating //

Electroplating is a process that uses electrical current to reduce ions of a desired material from a solution and then coat a conductive object with a thin layer of the metal material. Electroplating is primarily used for depositing a layer of metal to bestow a desired property (e.g., abrasion and wear resistance, corrosion protection, lubricity and aesthetic qualities). Another application uses electroplating to build up thickness on undersized parts. Plating is also an inexpensive method of improving surface roughness with the reduction in roughness hinging upon the degree to which the surface is treated prior to plating. DMLS parts can also be plated in their raw state and then finished in combination with another method.

Micro Machining Process (MMP) //

Micro Machining Process (MMP) is a mechanical-physical-chemical surface treatment applied to items placed inside a treatment tank. This process provides highly accurate selective surface finishes. The desired surface finish is obtained by using MMP only on those areas where that particular finish is required. MMP begins with a detailed analysis of the surface state of the item to be treated to establish the processing parameters required to meet the customer’s objectives. MMP can finely distinguish and selectively apply different primary roughness, secondary roughness and waviness profiles to surfaces. This process has selective application and is ideal for projects requiring precision tolerance finishing to a large number of parts, as well as parts with internal passages that cannot be reached by an alternate method.

CNC Finishing/Machining //

CNC finishing permits high quality contoured milling applications to achieve tight tolerances. Detail-oriented precision can be accomplished with CNC lathes. Conventional fixed headstock and Swiss-style CNC lathes can be utilized to support complex operations such as cross drilling and cross tapping, cross milling and slotting as well as C-axis milling and off-center work. Proper fixturing can yield tolerances as tight as 1 micron or (.00004”). Should this post processing option be desired, pre-build planning is required to add sufficient material to machined features and surfaces so that tolerances can be met.

DMLS Parts in As Soon As Three-Days / / Get A Quote

What are the Advantages & Disadvantages of DMLS?

The advantages of DMLS are numerous. DMLS is perfect for projects that require design freedom and rapid parts. Parts with undercuts, draft angles, cavities, tooling, jigs, rotors, fixtures and impellers are some of the pieces that can be made using DMLS. Additionally, multiple pieces such as mountings, sectioned parts and fasteners can be streamlined into a single part. DMLS has been particularly advantageous to the aerospace industry because it allows parts to be produced that were previously impossible to manufacture.

There are a few limitations to DMLS in terms of surface finish, but any surface roughness can be easily resolved with finishing work.

History of Direct Metal Laser Sintering //

Direct Metal Laser Sintering was created by the German firm EOS. The timeline of DMLS is as follows:

  • 1988 / / Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) was invented by Carl Deckard and paved the way for the introduction of DMLS. 
  • 1995 / / EOSINT M 250 created an additive manufacturing DMLS system to make metal tools for plastic injection molding—the start of rapid tooling.
  • 2001 / / A 20 micrometer layer thickness was created by EOS for the DMLS machining to improve part quality.
  • 2004 / / EOSINT M 270, a commercial grade fiber laser DMLS system was introduced.
  • 2007 / / EOSINT introduced EOS Titanium Ti64, a commercial-grade DMLS system for titanium.

DMLS 3D Printing Quote

Using Fathom for your AM project is easy. Fathom utilizes a state-of-the-art on-demand online quoting platform that provides our customers with unlimited access to quotes and orders for prototyping and production parts. Our production team is ready to meet your needs with a wide range of rigid and flexible material options. Fathom also offers advanced and expedited services. Companies of all sizes trust us from medical to consumer products, electronics, automotive, aerospace and more, including 9 of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies. Receive fast DMLS quotes and quick turnaround on parts through Fathom’s SmartQuote platform.

Manufacturing Locations Across National Time Zones
Manufacturing Locations Across National Time Zones
The Fathom Advanced Manufacturing Platform
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HEADQUARTERS

1050 Walnut Ridge Drive
Hartland, WI 53029
ISO 9001:2015
AS9100:2016
ITAR

ARIZONA

444 W. 21st St. Ste. 101
Tempe, AZ 85282
ISO 9001:2015
NIST800-171 Compliant
ITAR

FLORIDA

14000 N.W. 58th Court
Miami Lakes, FL 33014
ISO 9001:2015 Design Certified
ISO 13485:2016


 

CALIFORNIA

620 3rd Street
Oakland, CA 94607
ISO 9001:2015 Design Certified
NIST 800-171 Compliant
ITAR

ILLINOIS

1207 Adams Drive
McHenry, IL 60051

1401 Brummel Ave
Elk Grove, IL 60007
ISO 9001:2015 Design Certified

NEW YORK

401 W. Shore Blvd.
Newark, NY 14513
AS9100:2016
ISO 9001:2015
ITAR

1920 Slaterville Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850
ITAR

TEXAS

1801 Rowe Lane
Pflugerville, TX 78660
ISO 9001:2015
AS9100:2016

1513 Sam Bass Rd
Round Rock, TX 78681
ISO 9001:2015
ISO 13485:2016

COLORADO

7770 Washington St.
Denver, CO 80229
ISO 9001:2015
ITAR

MINNESOTA

13758 Johnson Street NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304