How it works?
The process begins with the creation of a three-dimensional (3D) model using computer-aided design (CAD) software. This 3D model is saved as an STL format file, which is the triangulated representation of the model. The software then splits the file data into individual layers and is sent to the SLM machine.
In the configuration of the SLM machine, a heat source (laser) selectively melts a bed of powder previously deposited in very thin and uniform layers (the layers indicated in 3D) on a platform, generating the contour and interior of the part. This construction platform descends in the z axis after each layer a distance equal to the thickness of the layer (generally between 20 and 50 microns), an action that is repeated until the piece is completed.
The system controls the modulation and firing of a medium power laser, guided by fiber optics to a galvo head that directs the beam over the powder bed.
A brush is responsible for evenly spreading a layer of metallic powder a few microns thick
A pair of mirrors direct the laser beam onto the powder bed, specifically melting certain areas of the work area.
After finishing a layer, it moves in the vertical axis allowing work on a new layer of metal powder.
All materials do not absorb energy in the same way as a function of wavelength. In metal 3D printing, fiber lasers of 1060 – 1080 nm are usually used, which affect ferric and aceric materials in a very specific way, but which on the other hand do not interfere practically with materials such as gold, silver, platinum or cupper. For this reason, printing on these other materials usually requires lasers of another wavelength.
3D metal printing is being adopted in multiple sectors, as an efficient manufacturing method to use in its value chain and as a complement to the traditional methods.
True value is obtained in the production of complex designs that cannot be manufactured with traditional processes or whose manufacturing cost would be much higher.
High temperature engine parts, turbine components, lightened elements and auxiliary components
Industry and Automotive
Prototypes, spare parts, and individualized components
Prosthetics, orthopedic implants and exoskeletons
Dental crowns, bridges, cantilevers and reconstructions
Inserts, mold parts, stamps and full small molds
Education and research
Study of technology, development of new materials and procedures around SLM