The utilization of additive manufacturing (AM) technology in the manufacturing of metal parts has advanced significantly. Less than ten years ago, industry pundits started noticing its commercial capacity, and even then only a few companies were aware of this technology. Today, it has actually obtained extensive utilization in the aviation, armed forces, medical, dental, and consumer products sectors, and there appears to be no end to its increasing appeal.
A handful of companies offer AM devices based upon two innovations: powder bed fusion and directed energy deposition. Direct metal laser sintering technology (DMLS) is an example of powder bed fusion technology. Components taken from using this innovation are outstanding, especially in terms of the surface finish, thin walls, fine features, and little internal channels crafted.
Dental offices have started making use of DMLS systems due to their capacity to produce extremely detailed and special dental add-ons in an extremely short time. Some say that using an electron beam system is much quicker, however the feature detail and area finish does not complement exactly what you may get with a DMLS system. In the medical industry, DMLS has been made use of to produce hip stems, acetabular hip cups, and spinal implants.
Lots of the metal parts currently being made with this AM technology are those that are tough, impractical, or expensive to manufacture using standard methods such as machining or casting. This gives DMLS a benefit, but only to an extent. For instance, DMLS-produced components have surface finishes similar to metal castings, however they do not suit the surface quality of components manufactured using a computer numerical control (CNC) device. For this reason, it's important to pick the right type of parts to be crafted using this AM technology.
Numerous types of metal are used to produce AM items, among the most popular of which is the titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V that's used in various medical and aerospace applications. Other preferred metals consist of cobalt-chrome, stainless steels, aluminums, gold alloys, and nickel-based superalloys. With AM innovations, all of the extra metal powder could be reused after sieving.
As AM techniques advance, it's certain to gain even more regard and momentum as a manufacturing process. Talk to AM systems provider and see exactly what the technology can accomplish for you. Find out even more regarding direct metal laser sintering systems from pddnet.com/articles/2010/02/you're-wrong-5-common-misconceptions-about-dmls.
A Short Look at Direct Metal Laser Sintering Technology