Direct Metal Printing (DMP)DMP or DMLS involves a metal powder down to 5 micron particle size being completely melted with a high power laser beam to build a part with properties of the original material. Similar to the SLS method, a thin layer of powder is spread out onto the build chamber. Some technologies provide an additional step of then compressing the powder with a roller to create higher density parts and improved surface finish. Next a high power laser scans across the metal powder and melts/welds the powder together selectively at the cross section of the CAD model. Different than SLS, DMP requires support structures to be built as the same time. This is because of the heat and stress involved with the DMP process requires the part to be anchored to the build platform during the build process.
Once completed the unfused powder is brushed or vacuumed away and the build platform is removed. Next the part is removed from the build platform typically with a wide EDM or band saw. The part is cut away at the support level and then the supports are manually removed. The final step typically involved bead blasting the part and possible final machining.
Benefits of DMP 3D Printing
- Fully dense real metal parts
- Many metals available including stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, cobalt chrome and more.
- Good surface finish
- Recycle all unused materials
- Ability to medium size parts – up to 10 x 10 x 12 inches
- Create complex geometries in metal that can’t be manufactured any other way.
Applications for DMP 3D printing
- Functional end use parts
- High temperature applications
- Fixtures, guides and jigs
- Tooling inserts with conformal cooling lines