Metal Technologies in Additive Manufacturing
Direct Metal Printing (DMP)
Use this technology to improve functionality, reduce weight and/or consolidate components into one single part. A direct metal printing (DMP) metal 3D printer uses a laser to weld thin layers of metal powder to produce highly complex metal parts. DMP provides unlimited design flexibility and overcomes traditional manufacturing technique limitations for geometry and surface retention. Manufacturing costs for parts are not dependent on part complexity but rather, part volume. DMP is ideal for producing compact components with highly complex anatomical shapes, internal channels, complex surface textures, internal lattices, and high levels of detail. Additive and subtractive technologies can be combined for the most effective cost per part.
Is DMP the more efficient DMLS than SLM?
The basic technology is the same: a laser selectively welds thin layers of metal powder. But the difference is in the detail and experience. DMP printers from 3D Systems have been used to manufacture over 500,000 metal parts. This experience has been designed into robust metal 3D printers for repeatability, part quality, productivity and a low total cost of operation (TCO). Removable Print Modules (RPMs) allow change-over times of 1 hour and 24/7 uptime. The vacuum chamber enables oxygen (O2) content of <25ppm for consistent part properties and full powder usage keeping waste to a minimum. When part quality, volume and efficiency matter - DMP is the best choice for 3D printing metal.
What exactly does Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) stand for?
Powder bed fusion (PBF) is a term that summarizes all technologies that selectively melt and fuse metal and plastic powder to build up complex parts directly from CAD files. PBF methods use either a laser (DMP/DMLS/SLS) or an electron beam (EBM) and different approaches to spreading or applying the powder with rollers or blades. Direct metal printing (DMP) is a laser-based metal 3D printing technology that applies the material in both directions (bi-directional re-coating), counts on a vacuum chamber for oxygen exposure of consistently <25ppm for repeatable high part properties and uses a Removable Print Module (RPM) for short changeover times and 24/7 uptime.
How is Metal Binder Jetting different from DMP/DMLS/SLM?
In this process a binder agent layer by layer holds the powder together. A (green) part is produced faster than any of the other powder bed processes, but this is only one step in a longer row. Post-processing—such as curing, de-powdering, sintering, infiltration, annealing, and finishing the part—will often take more time than creating the first green part. The main perceived benefits of metal binder jetting are the production speed of the green part as well as lower cost. The main limitations of metal binder jetting parts are their mechanical properties. Parts produced with metal binder jetting show relatively large and inconsistent porosity, i.e. low achieved density of the final part. The resulting effect on mechanical properties makes the parts unsuitable for applications requiring repeatable and strong mechanical properties.
About Direct Metal Printing (DMP)
DMP is a powerful 3D printing technology that shapes any desired metal part geometry by melting metal powder layer by layer. This technology is applied to build up material in layers instead of removing it in different steps. The metal powder particles pinpointed by the laser quickly and fully melt so that the new material properly attaches to the previous layer, without glue or binder liquid. A powerful fiber laser with high energy intensity operates in the inert area inside the machine. This guarantees that the metal parts being built exhibit a dense and homogenous material structure. The CAD design of the parts directly drives the DMP production machines without the need for programming, clamping or tooling.
Our DMP printers allow you to create metal parts while achieving fine detail, which is why DMP is perfect for a variety of applications. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Producing complex parts that cannot be made using traditional methods
- Conformal cooling channels and latticework
- Enhanced fluid flow
- Direct tool-free production of injection molding inserts and cores
- Mass personal customization of orthopedic, dental, and other parts
- Parts with cavities, undercuts. and draft angles
- Reduced-weight and light-weight design
- Research and development
- Simplified assemblies and part consolidation
- Small, precision parts production
- Topology optimization while maintaining structural integrity
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About our Metal Printers and Materials
3D Systems invented 3D printing. We produce hundreds of thousands of metal parts with our metal printers, metal materials and specialized software.
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Why Use Direct Metal Printing?
Reduce weight, improve stiffness-to-weight ratio through topological optimization, hollowing, applying internal lattice structures and/or consolidating assemblies to reduce fasteners.
Manage your part count and eliminate critical assembly processes such as welding that require extensive quality control and inspection. Reduce assembly time and cost by eliminating the need of sub-assembly labor and jigs and fixtures
Rethink design and enable fluid and airflow design to achieve best cooling, heating, mixing or other fluid flow in a part. Make the best of use of CFD by producing geometries that are truly optimized for fluid dynamics and not achievable with conventional production technologies.
Design outside the subtractive tool box and increase the functionality of your component or product by making use of the design freedom metal AM offers.
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Application Innovation Group
Unlock the full potential of your metals investment with help from our Application Innovation Group. This team of engineers and experts has decades of experience across all technologies and broad experience in different industries to provide state-of-the-art solutions that are tailored to your needs.
Get Started with 3D Printing Today3D Systems invented 3D printing over 30 years ago. Put our expertise to work for you today.